Rams RB Cam Akers suffers torn Achilles, will miss 2021 season

The Rams' top rusher from 2020 has been upended by terribly unfortunate news.

Second-year tailback Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles while training before the start of camp, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday. The team later confirmed the news.

Akers was set to headline a backfield that began 2020 as a committee, but saw the Florida State product rise to the top of the group down the stretch of the season. Akers finished the season as Los Angeles' leading rusher thanks in large part to his increased workload from Week 13 onward, going from averaging just 6.3 attempts per game to over 20 in the latter portion of the season.

The uptick in carries produced results for Akers, who averaged 92.1 yards per game, scored four touchdowns and broke 130 yards twice in that span. His 645 rushing yards from Week 13 through Super Bowl LV were the fourth most in the entire NFL, giving the Rams plenty of reason to be excited about the future of their running game in the post-Todd Gurley era.

After Tuesday's news, they'll instead have to drum up excitement for handoffs to Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais and Good Morning Football favorite Jake Funk. Three of those four were either seventh-round picks or undrafted free agents.

Coach Sean McVay said Tuesday during an appearance on ESPN 710 his team likes what they have in the aforementioned group of backs, and might just move forward as is.

"We've got some young backs on our roster that I'm intrigued about seeing how they handle this opportunity," McVay said. "I don't know that the veteran route is something that we would rule out, but it's not something that we're immediately looking to address right now."

If numbers never lie, the Rams will have to hope their committee backfield can make up for what they'll lose from Akers' absence. Los Angeles has averaged 120-plus rushing yards in each of the three seasons in which the Rams have made the playoffs under Sean McVay. In the one season in which they didn't make the playoffs in the McVay era, the Rams averaged just 93.7 yards per game.

The Rams can continue to be excited about their chances with a new and improved situation at quarterback thanks to their acquisition of Matthew Stafford. But they'll undoubtedly miss Akers, and can only hope to find a way to replace his projected production over the course of a full season.

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