Rams RB Akers not with team; McVay: ‘uncharted territory’

Oct 14, 2022, 12:13 AM | Updated: 3:07 pm

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) fights off a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys defensive...

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) fights off a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill (72) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

              Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) carries the ball as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (2) attempts to make the stop in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
              Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) fights off a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill (72) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Running back Cam Akers will not play for the Los Angeles Rams against Carolina on Sunday after missing two days of practice this week for what coach Sean McVay called personal reasons.

McVay would not give further details Friday when asked about Akers’ circumstances, though he did say the Rams’ leading rusher was not away from the team for the past two days because he was injured.

When asked whether Akers would be part of the Rams going forward, McVay replied: “We’re working through some different things right now, so hopefully you guys understand and respect that.”

McVay also said the team wanted to keep it “in-house,” later adding that the personal reasons cited for Akers’ absence are “more like we’re dealing with things internally. This is kind of uncharted territory. … He’s going to be OK.”

Akers practiced with the defending Super Bowl champions Wednesday, but wasn’t with the team Thursday or Friday.

“He’s good,” said running back Darrell Henderson, who is likely to get most of the Rams’ workload in Akers’ absence. “We trust that he’s going to be good. So he’ll be all right. We’re going to do this for him.”

Henderson claimed he doesn’t know much about the issues keeping Akers away from the Rams.

“That’s on Coach and Cam to talk,” Henderson said. “I don’t know what’s going on. … You all probably know more than I know. I just come in and go to work.”

But when asked if he thinks Akers will be back with the Rams this season, Henderson replied: “Oh yeah.”

Akers has rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown this season for the Rams, who have the NFL’s worst rushing offense at just 62.4 yards per game. Akers has been unproductive in the ground game by most statistical measures while running behind an offensive line missing three starters and two backups due to injury.

McVay publicly called for a better effort earlier this season from Akers, who responded with mild surprise and acceptance. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen said Thursday that the Rams need more “creativity” from their running backs, particularly when obvious running lanes aren’t available.

Akers played in each of the Rams’ first five games this season, but is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry after gaining 33 yards on 13 attempts last week against Dallas. He has acknowledged he is still attempting to recover his peak explosiveness after tearing his Achilles tendon during preseason workouts last year.

Henderson didn’t get a carry against the Cowboys, but was used extensively as a receiver. He has only 138 yards rushing this season.

The Rams (2-3) have lost back-to-back games. Los Angeles’ bye is next week, and when asked if the Rams expect to be in the market for a running back over the break, McVay replied: “I don’t know. I wouldn’t say no, ever. We’ll always explore our options if there’s chances to upgrade. That’s probably not something that’s at the forefront.”

The Rams’ other active running backs Sunday are likely to be veteran Malcolm Brown and recent practice squad signee Ronnie Rivers.

Brown spent six seasons with the Rams from 2015-20, and he scored the first touchdown in SoFi Stadium history. After a one-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, he returned to LA last month.

Akers rushed for 625 yards as a rookie out of Florida State in 2020 after the Rams selected him with their highest pick in any of the past five drafts. He recovered remarkably quickly from the Achilles injury to rejoin Los Angeles for the regular-season finale and its playoff run to a championship.

According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Akers has minus-0.98 rush yards over expected per attempt this season, which is the second-worst performance in the league. He has just 86 yards after contact and has broken only one tackle all season.

NOTES: LG David Edwards will visit with concussion specialists in Pittsburgh, McVay said. Edwards is on injured reserve after returning last Sunday from a one-week absence with an apparent concussion, only to take another hit to the head against the Cowboys. … WR Cooper Kupp, DT Aaron Donald and TE Tyler Higbee are all expected to play Sunday despite being questionable with minor injuries. Rookie DB Cobie Durant (hamstring) and backup QB John Wolford (neck) are also questionable.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

Rams RB Akers not with team; McVay: ‘uncharted territory’