Well, it looks as if No. 3 will be available for Odell Beckham, Jr., if he re-signs with the Rams.
The team’s decision to rule running back Cam Akers out for “personal reasons” this weekend, coupled with comments made by coach Sean McVay regarding the situation, creates the clear impression that Akers’ time with the team is coming to an end.
“We’re working through some different things right now,” McVay told reporters regarding the third-year tailback. “Like I said, just want to kind of want to be able to . . . hopefully you guys understand and respect that we want to just be able to keep things internal right now.”
They want to keep things internal, because apparently they are figuring out what to do about Akers. Ideally, they’d like to trade him. If it’s obvious they’re moving on, it becomes harder to get maximum value.
“It’s one of those deals where, like I said, kind of want to be able to just keep things internally, but as it relates to just the football stuff, it is certainly not all on our running backs,” McVay said when asked about a need for urgency has led to Akers being ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. “We’ve got to be better, starting with myself being able to execute the fundamentals of the techniques, being able to get a hat on a hat, being able to press the line of scrimmage. The run game truly does take all 11, but there’s a lot of layers to it and that’s kind of where we’re at with it.”
It’s clear there’s an issue, because McVay explained that he hasn’t had many issues like this during his time with the Rams.
“What I’ve been very fortunate with, going into the sixth year, I think you realize how blessed and fortunate you’ve been where those things have been at a minimum,” McVay said. “But that’s what you signed up for. You’ve got to be able to deal with it the best way that you know how, leaning on the resources, asking the right questions, being willing to listen then learn and then you can lead and make decisions the right way. Never are they always easy, but I’m always going to try to do what I think is best. There’s a lot of instances where you’re saying, ‘I haven’t really been here, who can I lean on to help provide some perspective and some context?’ That’s what you try to do in any of these types of situations. But I do know that dealing with things clearly, openly, and honestly, and in the best way that you think, based on those values fundamentally that kind of guide our everyday approach and behavior have helped. Is it perfect? I will never claim to be that, but I always do try to learn from the mistakes and make sure that you use both the good and the bad to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for everybody that you’re responsible for as it relates to the decision making and some of those different things.”
So will the Rams be in the market for another running back?
“I don’t know,” McVay said. “I wouldn’t say no ever. We’ll always explore options if we feel like there’s a chance to upgrade, that’s probably not something that’s at the forefront. What I am excited about seeing is let’s see if we can go find a way to play some good football against what we know is going to be an incredibly tough opponent, see if we can get to 3-3, and then be able to take a step back and do a lot of things that give us a chance to really exhale, but also address who we’re getting back, what does that look like as it relates to trying to have the best plan for the remainder of the season that we’re guaranteed. Those are things that you want to just take it a step at a time, and that’s where my mindset is right now.”
McVay was pressed a bit on the “personal reasons” that have Akers unavailable.
“I would say it’s more like we’re dealing with things internally,” McVay said. “I don’t know exactly. . . this is kind of unchartered territory and I think the biggest thing is, out of respect for the situation, we want to keep it internally. You guys will have more information later on, but as it relates to everything right now, that’s how we’re articulating it. He’s going to be OK.”
He’s going to be OK. But it sounds as if he’s not going to be a Ram.
Akers, 23, was a second-round pick from Florida State in 2020. A strong finish to his rookie season, including 171 yards in a Thursday night thrashing of the Patriots, created expectations that he’d have a breakout year in 2021. A ruptured Achilles tendon suffered before training camp kept that from happening. He returned for the tail end of the regular season and the postseason.
This year, Akers has failed to live up to expectations. He had 61 rushing yards in a Week Three win over the Cardinals. He has 90 total rushing yards in the team’s four other games, combined.
Akers has a base salary of $1.17 million this year, and $1.45 million in 2023. It’s unclear whether a team would be willing to trade for his contract, given the overall questions about his performance this season.
Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown are the only other running backs on the active roster. Ronnie Rivers is on the team’s practice squad.
With Cam Akers apparently on the outs, the Rams don’t rule out adding a running back originally appeared on Pro Football Talk