Rams running back Cam Akers has seemingly been in the doghouse with Sean McVay since the start of the 2022 season, and the NFL trade deadline seemed like the perfect time to rectify his standing with the team. With several teams seeking running back help, an Akers trade seemed to be on the horizon.
It seems, however, whatever is going on between Akers and the organization has crept out side of it. It was reported by Josina Anderson hours ahead of the deadline a trade wasn’t “imminent,” and he ended up a Ram past the 4 p.m. cutoff on Tuesday. Now, the focus has shifted, and Anderson says Akers wants a “fair resolution” despite the relationship remaining “amicable.”
Akers clearly isn’t happy with where things are at, tweeting Monday he misses football and, ostensibly, getting regular playing time.
I miss football 😐
— Cam akers (@thereal_cam3) November 1, 2022
Akers has taken 111 snaps in five games for the Rams this year, but he’s missed their last two games entirely. He has 53 touches for the team, 169 yards total.
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Indeed, there doesn’t even seem to be room for Akers in the Rams’ running back depth chart. With Ronnie Rivers starting against the 49ers last week and Kyren Williams starting to generate some hype, here’s a look at how the running back room shapes up in Los Angeles.
Who is the Rams starting running back?
Darrell Henderson Jr. will continue to get the bulk of touches for the Rams when he’s fully healthy, as Akers remains questionable on the depth chart.
The backup situation is a bit more fluid, with Malcolm Brown being the ostensible No. 2 with Akers being held out. However, Ronnie Rivers has also emerged into the fray, and Kyren Williams is starting to generate some hype.
Rams running back depth chart
Officially, Darrell Henderson Jr. is the No. 1 option for the Rams on the depth chart, with Malcolm Brown as the spell and Cam Akers third. Kyren Williams is also listed, but he’s currently on IR.
Unofficially, it’s less simple, with Ronnie Rivers starting last week makes it a bit more complicated, but that was with Henderson being sick and Rivers being up from the practice squad. Rivers rushed eight times for 21 yards while Henderson carried the ball just four times for 16 yards.
|Player||Carries||Yards||TDs||Catches||Rec. Yards||Rec. TDs|
|Darrell Henderson Jr.||50||197||2||16||91||0|
1. Darrell Henderson Jr.
Darrell Henderson Jr. is the Rams’ main back while Akers is being held out of games. Even as the starter, Henderson tends to be used sparingly in Sean McVay’s offense, with the Rams throwing the ball 65 percent of the time.
Henderson does, to his credit, contribute in the passing game more than the other running backs on the Rams roster. But even so, he sometimes feels like a starter by default rather than someone the Rams place a ton of stock in.
2. Malcolm Brown
This is a bit of a recent edition of the Rams depth chart, as Brown has gotten over 20 percent of the snaps in each of the last two weeks for the Rams.
Though he’s generally regarded in special teams, with Akers unavailable, it seems Brown is starting to supplant him on the depth chart.
3. Cam Akers
Akers still has to be on here, but as he gets scratched, it’s apparent he’s not going to be seeing the field for the Rams much in the future.
Despite protestations that things are amicable between him and the team, things don’t seem to be going well between Akers and the Rams.
4. Kyren Williams
Williams is starting to generate buzz for the Rams. A rookie out of Notre Dame, the running back is yet to play in a game this season as he’s been on IR since Sep. 13. He was designated to return Oct. 26, but he didn’t get snaps against the 49ers.
Now, Williams is slated to potentially make his debut against the Buccaneers. With the Rams’ running back woes, he should have ample opportunity to make his mark.
One thing that stands out is the lack of production in the passing game from the Rams running backs. Only Henderson has double-digit receptions. While part of that is the fact the Rams receivers — specifically Cooper Kupp — take up a lot of air in the passing game, the other is that the Rams backs haven’t been very effective.
It would be surprising to see Akers take the field with the Rams again, as this benching seems permanent. However, the Rams have a problem at running back, and it doesn’t seem like the situation with Akers is going to get resolved or resolve their deeper issues any time soon. With a trade not materializing, we’ll see how irreconcilable the differences between Akers and the Rams are.