Heading into the 2020-2021 season, the running back situation was a huge question mark for the Rams. After parting ways with Todd Gurley, who was a work horse for the team, the team settled for a three-man rotation featuring second-year back Darrell Henderson, veteran Malcolm Brown, and the rookie Cam Akers. Of course, that strategy didn’t last long as Cam Akers emerged as the top guy despite a rib injury.
The Rams knew what they were getting in Akers when they drafted him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Even though he started off of the season a little slow, he soon started to heat up and established himself as Sean McVay’s go to back. In fact, Akers may have earned himself an increased role in 2021.
After speaking with reporters on Thursday, McVay made it known that Cam cold become the team’s next Todd Gurley.
“Really, I think he’s an every-down back. I think he’s a special player. I think that’s a real credit to Cam, but also [running back coach] Thomas Brown’s leadership and just pouring into him day in and day out and him being receptive to that. Then you see the benefits and how much it kind of came to life towards the latter part of the season and we expect them to pick up where he left off.”
The Rams were missing an offensive catalyst in 2019 despite Gurley’s presence on the team. This season, the team looked to have found a new one in Akers who rushed 625 yards and two touchdowns on 145 carries. While that doesn’t seem like much, the 21-year old missed some time due to an injury and had limited opportunities the first couple of games.
The upcoming season should open up more opportunities for Akers to establish himself not only as the Rams’ No.1 back but one of the league’s up and coming stars.