We have not even reached training camp of the NFL season, and the first major injury has already occurred.
The Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers has suffered a torn Achilles a week ahead of the Rams training camp.
Cam Akers Tears Achilles
The news was first broken by the team on Tuesday and as is usual with Achilles injuries, Cam Akers is expected to miss the entire 2021 season going through recovery from the injury.
Akers, who is 22 years old, led the Rams with 625 rushing yards as a rookie last season. He was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft out of Florida State University, joining Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown in Los Angeles’s backfield for the 2020 season.
He entered the season in a competition for the backup role in the backfield, but he quickly asserted his abilities and was able to make an impact for the Rams during their 10-6 season in which they placed second in the NFC West.
They won their Wild Card playoff game versus the Seattle Seahawks only to go on and lose to the Green Bay Packers in a 32-18 matchup
Akers was well on his way to be featured back in a Los Angeles offense that was projected to be a brand new beast. The Rams traded for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in a swap that sent Jared Goff to Detroit. They also signed well-known speedy receiver Desean Jackson that will add to a receiving core that already has Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
If the Rams deem it necessary to find a replacement for Akers, future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson and former Steelers and Jets running back Le’Veon Bell are among the free agents who could replace Akers on the Rams’ roster.
With Darrell Henderson Jr. being the only battle-tested running back left on the roster for the Rams, expect them to dip into free agency for a solid backup.
Henderson, the presumed new starter, is a 2019 third-round draft pick who has shown solid production through his first two NFL seasons, however, both have ended abruptly because of ankle injuries. Last season, Henderson started 11 games and rushed for 624 yards and five touchdowns nearly matching the production of Akers. He also caught a touchdown pass.
After the news broke, Akers took his thoughts to Twitter on Tuesday Afternoon.
Akers tweeted: “I just want to thank any and every person sending prayers my way and wishing me well. I hate this happened but I’m in great spirits and I understand God makes no mistakes. I’ll be back better than ever in no time.”
I just want to thank any and every person sending prayers my way and wishing me well. I hate this happened but I’m in great spirits and I understand God makes no mistakes. I’ll be back better than ever in no time I’m a soldier. Again, thank you 🙏🏾.
— Cam akers (@thereal_cam3) July 20, 2021
Such an injury is hard to see for a player who was poised to take over as a leader for a new look team on offense. He even stated this offseason what he has focused on heading into 2021.
“The only thing you can do is prepare and make sure you’re doing all you can to be at your best for your team, so that’s what I’ve been focusing on doing …. whether that’s being a leader or making plays,” Akers explained back in June.
For the Rams, finding a viable replacement will be important in an NFC West division that should be one of the best in football. The Cardinals have made vast improvements, the 49ers will be returning players from injuries, and as long as Russell Wilson is in Seattle, they will be competitive. This division is surely one to watch.
This news is a real blow for a Rams team that is set to start their training camp on July 28th from UC Irvine’s facilities.
The Rams’ newly outfitted offense and top-tier defense will open this season in Chicago for a Sunday Night Football matchup with the Bears.