Before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contest, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay insisted that things were smoothed over between the franchise and running back Cam Akers after a couple weeks of reported tensions.
Akers went from being absent from the Rams’ facility, to returning and addressing the L.A. media on Thursday, November 3 all the way to being activated to the roster for the Bucs game in Week 9.
McVay then spent Monday, November 7 reacting to having Akers back with the Rams.
Akers Received Minimal Action but Returned to RB Rotation
Akers was unfortunately bottled to five carries for just three yards — only averaging 0.8 yards per carry. The Rams, in general, once again struggled with moving the chains consistently through the ground attack.
McVay, however, believed that Akers handled himself well when called upon.
“I thought he did a good job with what he could control,” McVay told reporters via Zoom. “The snaps were minimal, there wasn’t a whole lot of space. I thought he had a good, tough short-yardage run that converted.”
But his running ability wasn’t the only trait McVay praised in limited duty from Akers.
“I thought he had a good blitz pickup on a quick out route that we hit to Cooper (Kupp) on our near sidelines when Devin White ended up blitzing internally,” McVay said. “I thought he did a nice job. It was good to be able to get him back in the mix.”
Akers in total was given six snaps per Pro Football Focus — but again touched the football in five of those offensive plays.
Hard Part About Getting Akers Back Into Fold
Despite Darrell Henderson breaking off a 23-yard run against the Bucs, the Rams ground attack only mustered an average of 2.8 yards per carry. The Bucs not only controlled the line of scrimmage, but produced eight tackles for a loss against the Rams.
McVay unveiled the hard part about getting a guy like Akers reacclimated.
“The hard thing is that, while you want to be able to get guys involved, whether it’s a running back getting more touches, whether that be Cam or Darrell (Henderson Jr.) or whoever it might be, or get more receivers involved, for you to be able to do that at the level that we’re accustomed to and what you guys have seen, there needs to be production offensively and more opportunities to snap the football and have more touches to go around,” McVay explained. “So that’s where some of those challenges have been.”
But overall, getting Akers back out there is considered a step in the right direction in the relationship between Akers and the Rams…and McVay was pleased with Akers.
“I thought with what Cam could do and what he could control based on his snaps, I was pleased with Cam,” McVay said.
Akers was one of four running backs activated to play against the Bucs — joining Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Ronnie Rivers. The Rams are still expected to bring back rookie Kyren Williams from his ankle injury he sustained in the Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills.