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Rams RB Cam Akers returns to practice, underscores he never asked for trade

Cam Akers was back on the Los Angeles Rams practice field Thursday as expected and there's a "real possibility" he could play on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

It was Akers' first practice since Week 6, when head coach Sean McVay announced the running back would be out for personal reasons.

The subject of trades talks for weeks, Akers on Thursday clarified to a scrum of reporters he never asked to be traded.

"I never asked to not be a part of the team," Akers said, via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. "I never asked to not play. I never asked to not practice."

Akers told reporters he was happy to be back in the fold, but whether he'll be back on the field Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remains to be seen, though it's trending in that direction, per Rapoport.

A Wednesday practice during Week 6 previously stood as Akers' last practice with the Rams. He missed the next two sessions en route to missing that week's win against the Carolina Panthers. It was the first of two games Akers has missed, with a bye week separating them.

Not long after McVay's Oct.14 announcement, Rapoport reported Akers and McVay had "philosophical and football-related differences." Rapoport also reported the team was expected to field trade calls for Akers, which McVay confirmed they were indeed doing a few days later.

Though there were no reports of Akers himself requesting a trade, there was trade chatter aplenty ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. However, the deadline came and went, but Akers did not -- despite L.A. receiving interest. Since then, McVay and Akers have spoken and it seems to be that optimistic heads have prevailed.

In five games' worth of 2022 action from Week 1 to Week 5, Akers has produced a paltry 151 yards on 51 carries (3.0 yards per carry) and just one touchdown. While his play was hardly inspiring, his lack of usage was a surprise.

Before and during Akers' absence, the Rams' ground game has struggled -- perhaps one important reason for the team's current travails that have seen them lose three of their last four.

Los Angeles is ranked 31st in rushing heading into Sunday's game.

Perhaps this L.A. story will have a happy ending with Akers returning to the Rams' good graces and fruitful play on the field. For now, Thursday stands as the day Akers got back on the practice field and made it known he never asked to leave L.A.

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