Ahead of a much anticipated season, the Los Angeles Rams have received brutal news regarding one of the team's young budding playmakers.
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, second-year running back Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles while training.
This is a massive blow for the Rams just a week away from the start of training camp. Akers emerged as the team's best running back last season. As a rookie, Akers led the team in rushing with 625 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 145 carries, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. Akers added another 123 yards and one touchdown on 11 receptions.
Los Angeles made possibly the biggest splash of the offseason when they traded quarterback and former first-overall pick Jared Goff along with their first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, as well as a third-round pick in 2021 to the Detroit Lions in exchange for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. The 33-year-old gunslinger is set to join a talented offense with wide receivers Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Desean Jackson, and rookie second-round pick Chatarius "Tutu" Atwell, as well as tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. Akers was in line to be the team's feature back with Darrell Henderson behind him.
In his 12 seasons in the NFL with Detroit, Stafford has only had one season with a running back rushing for more than 1,000 yards. Now Los Angeles must weigh their options at running back on the roster and of available free agents as the season nears ever closer. Henderson will likely receive a larger workload now without Akers, but the team must find another capable rusher to pair with him. Henderson finished last season with 624 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 138 carries.
Some potential free agents who could be brought in to back Henderson up include Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Duke Johnson, Le'Veon Bell, and Lesean McCoy. The seemingly ageless Peterson spent last season with the Lions, rushing for 604 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns on 156 carries. Gore, now 38, spent last season with the New York Jets and rushed for 653 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 187 attempts. Johnson rushed for 253 yards and one rushing touchdown on 77 attempts with the Houston Texans last season. Bell started last season with the Jets but was released and signed by the Kansas City Chiefs where he rushed for 328 yards and two touchdowns on 82 carries. McCoy was a member of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was inactive in the Super Bowl and only rushed for 31 yards on 10 carriers in 10 games during the regular season.
Other running backs currently on the roster include second-year undrafted Xavier Jones, rookie seventh-round pick Jake Funk, and second-year seventh-round pick Raymond Calais.
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