The Los Angeles Rams suffered their first key loss back in July when it was revealed that running back Cam Akers would miss the entire 2021 NFL season with a torn Achilles.
Head coach Sean McVay was not shy about expressing his high hopes for Akers heading into his second year. After all, the former second-round pick showed plenty of promise as a rookie and was poised for an increased role in this revamped offense.
Unfortunately, the year ended for Akers just a week ahead of training camp and the Rams have since had to make do with the backfield pairing of Darrell Henderson Jr. and Sony Michel. It appears that may not be the case should the team live up to its championship expectations down the road.
McVay provided a rather optimistic update on Akers’ recovery and even suggested that he should be good to go come playoff time, via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:
“You don’t want to be presumptuous, but if we are able to make the playoffs and give ourselves a chance to play after (the regular season), the expectation is that Cam would be available to play,” McVay told The Athletic via phone call early Monday evening. “He’s on track to do that.
“He was running at 80 percent body weight at 10 miles per hour pretty effortlessly, and from the cameras that I saw last week that are kind of right behind his feet on the treadmill, unless you saw the scar you wouldn’t notice any sort of hitch in his giddy-up on that. He’s attacking the rehab the right way.
“He’s doing great. I think the plan is, if we’re able to play past the regular season, we’ll get Cam back this year and he’ll be playing in the playoffs.”
The prospect of L.A. getting its workhorse back in the mix would surely provide a major boost to the offense. Of course, there is still plenty of work to be done on all fronts in order to make it come to fruition.
The Rams must first continue to take care of business on the field following a 6-1 start to the season. Despite taking advantage of a favorable part of their schedule, it is evident that they are still far from a finished product on both sides of the ball given the slow starts on offense and porous run defense.
As for Akers, McVay’s comments indicate that he has made some tremendous strides in his recovery and the timetable for his return is now shorter than what was initially expected. Even if a comeback is not officially set in stone, his status will certainly be something to monitor throughout the rest of the year.