With the trade deadline fast approaching, rumors are aplenty in the NFL. And the Colts have been thrown into such rumors. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports named the Indianapolis Colts as a potential destination for running back Cam Akers if he were to be traded.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday, October 16th that the Los Angeles Rams were expected to field calls for the former Florida State running back. Rapoport stated that Akers has “philosophical and football-related differences with head coach Sean McVay.”
Colts Running Back Depth
Many will question why the Colts would entertain such trade when they have All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines on the roster. But the health of both players has come into question over recent weeks. Taylor has missed the past two weeks due to an ankle injury, while Hines suffered a concussion early in the Colts’ week five matchup against the Denver Broncos.
Behind the two main workhorses, Indianapolis employs Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay. Jackson, a second-year player out of Duke, took advantage of Taylor’s absence on Sunday against the Jaguars. He rushed 12 times for 42 yards, adding a touchdown midway through the third quarter.
Lindsay, an offseason practice squad addition, has seen time only in the past two games. In his return to Mile High Stadium in Denver, Lindsay ran 11 times for 40 yards and caught 3 passes for 14 yards. While the offense focused mainly on the passing attack against the Jaguars, Lindsay ran only 3 times for 7 yards. Jackson clearly has the upper hand with Taylor and Hines out of commission and Lindsay should revert back to the practice squad when they return.
Akers Decline In LA
As a secondary back as a rookie, Akers contributed 625 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first year in Los Angeles. Before his first season as a full-time starter, Akers tore his achilles in July. While most expected the second-year back to miss the entire season, Akers miraculously returned as the lead back in Week 18 and for the Super Bowl run.
Akers was thought to once again be in the driver seat heading into 2022, but played sparingly in the first five games, and was inactive in Week Six. On the season, he has only 51 rushing attempts for 151 yards and 1 touchdown, averaging 2.96 yards per attempt.
The third-year running back has plummeted down the depth chart behind Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown. Rookie Kyren Williams could also return following a stint on injured reserve, pushing Akers even further down the line.
If the Colts are interested in bolstering their running back depth, Akers could be a bargain. Once thought to be a budding star in the NFL, Akers will surely have a chip on his shoulder wherever his next destination may be.
Taylor and Hines Return to Practice
The two star Colts running backs returned to practice on Wednesday, October 19th. While Hines was listed as a full participant, Taylor was only limited. Hines return could provide a massive boost to the offense with the Colts focusing on their passing attack.
Reich has not stated whether either back will be available on Sunday against the Titans. If not, Jackson will be in line for a starting role against one of the best rush defenses in the league.