Rams’ Cam Akers out against Panthers for personal reasons; running back and LA ‘working through things’
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said Friday that a personal issue will prevent running back Cam Akers from playing during the team’s Week 6 matchup.
Akers has missed at least two days of practice this week.
Speculation continues to surround Akers and his future with the Rams.
When reporters asked McVay Friday if Akers is expected to be a part of the team’s future plans, he responded, “We’re working through some different things right now.”
After the Rams lost to the Buffalo Bills to open the 2022 season, McVay told reporters he spoke with Akers about playing up to the expectations the team has for him. But Akers contradicted McVay’s timing and said the conversation between them happened during training camp.
Akers was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, and he suffered a torn ACL prior to the start of training camp last season. He ultimately recovered in time for the playoffs and was an integral part of the team’s offense in last year’s Super Bowl.
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The absence of Akers likely means running back Darrell Henderson Jr. will be responsible for the majority of the Rams’ carries Sunday.
Last season, Henderson racked up 688 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns with the Rams.
Akers has played in all five of the Rams games this season and has 151 rushing yards. He has scored one touchdown on 51 carries. The lone touchdown he scored in Week 3 was his first since 2020.
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The Rams may also give backup running back Malcolm Brown more touches against the Panthers. Brown returned to the team this season after previously being on the roster from 2015-2020.
Brown does not have any carries so far this year.
McVay did confirm that Akers is not dealing with any physical limitations. He reiterated that the Rams are “dealing with things internally.”
“[This is] kind of uncharted territory, and I think the biggest thing is, out of respect for the situation, want to keep it internal,” McVay said.
The Panthers are bringing the NFL’s 27th-ranked rush defense to SoFi Stadium.
Running back Ronnie Rivers is on the practice squad, but McVay did not say if he would be elevated to the active roster on Sunday.