On Friday, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay announced that running back Cam Akers will miss the matchup against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
McVay also said that Akers would not participate in Friday’s practice. He did not specify the reason behind Akers’ absence and merely said that Akers is “working through some things.” He asserted that Akers was physically okay. The 23-year-old running back also missed practice on Thursday.
“[This is] kind of uncharted territory, and I think the biggest thing is, out of respect for the situation, want to keep it internal,” McVay said.
Akers left Florida State in 2020 and joined the Rams. He has been with the team until now and helped the Rams win the Super Bowl. He tore his Achilles tendon in the early 2021-2022 season but returned in Week 18.
Akers had struggled since the beginning of the season. Akers has accumulated 151 yards on 51 carries, averaging three yards per carry. He also recorded 18 yards from two receptions and one touchdown.
After the Rams’ defeat in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills, where Akers gained no yards on three carries, McVay had a conversation with Akers. The coach told Akers to play with more “urgency.”
McVay said he had that conversation because he was confident in Akers. The 36-year-old head coach and the teams know what Akers can do and need him to be at his best. McVay said he wanted Akers to have accountability to “snap in and snap out.”
Darrell Henderson Jr., Akers’ running back partner, also has a subpar performance this season, recording only 138 running yards on 34 carries. The Rams’ underperforming running offense has been noticeable. The team only has 3.2 yards per carry and 62.4 rushing yards per game.
“If things don’t change soon, Akers and the rest of the offense may be in for a very long season,” Reese Nasser of ClutchPoints said.
With Akers out on the next match, McVay plans to have Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Ronnie Rivers step up.
“We’ll always explore options if we feel like there’s chances to upgrade,” McVay added. “That’s probably not something that’s at the forefront.”
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