Cam Akers was supposed to be the Rams’ lead back in 2021, but he caught a bad break during offseason training. Akers tore his Achilles while working out in July and was set to miss the entire season while rehabbing that injury.
Or so it seemed. However, Akers has made a remarkably quick recovery from that problem and it seems like he is going to be ready to play for the Rams at some point this season.
MORE: Cooper Kupp explains his rise to stardom
Los Angeles designated Akers to return from IR in a move that was presumed to be about giving Akers an extra pension credit. However, he has shown well enough in practice that the Rams officially activated him from IR on Christmas Day.
“He’s earned the right to be able to get on this roster and it looks like there’s a possibility of him contributing as soon as this week actually on the field,” coach Sean McVay said, per ESPN.
If Akers can get on the field in Week 17, it would mean that his torn Achilles would have taken just five and a half months to heal. A 2017 study revealed that NFL players took an average of nine months to return to action after suffering the injury, so needless to say, Akers is making an absurdly quick turnaround.
NFL PICKS WEEK 17: Against the spread | Straight up
That’s one of the reasons that McVay isn’t going to go crazy with Akers’ usage, at least not early on during his return.
“You still want to be really smart with him,” McVay said, per the Los Angeles Times. “But there is a possibility he plays this week. He looked really good last week in practice.”
Akers’ presence would be a welcome addition to the Rams’ backfield. Darrell Henderson, who began the season as the team’s top back, suffered a sprain MCL in Week 16 and has been placed on IR, meaning he will miss at least three games including the Rams’ postseason opener. That leaves Sony Michel as the lone experienced back in the Rams’ rotation aside from Akers.
MORE: Tom Brady praises “courageous” reporter for question to Bill Belichick
Michel, who has averaged 22.3 carries and 105.8 rushing yards per game in his last four starts, will likely continue to serve as the starter for Los Angeles. That said, Akers can rotate in to help keep him fresh while working himself back into game shape. And if all goes well, the Rams would have a three-headed monster at some point during the postseason.
Either way, McVay and the Rams are excited to have Akers back. Michel, in particular, is looking forward to seeing what the two can do with Henderson out.
“Very talented kid,” Michel said. “Great guy, great energy, and I’m excited for him.”