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Akers must show ‘urgency’ and ‘maximize his chances when he gets them,’ says McVay

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Cam Akers needs to show more ‘urgency’ and ‘maximize his chances when he gets them,’ said Rams coach Sean McVay.

  • Cam Akers played just 12 snaps against the Bills and ran for zero yards
  • He was outplayed by Darrell Henderson, who was expected to be his backup
  • McVay says he knows how good Akers can be and wants him to reach his potential

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay publicly challenged on Friday to roll back Cam Akers after his team’s defeat to Buffalo in the regular-season NFL opener.

Fans criticized Akers’ opening night performance — or lack thereof — in the game, after the Rams who predicted they’d start running back played just 23 snaps in all, running for zero yards.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re talking about, you want guys to do the little things the right way, competing with and without the ball,” McVay said.

“There were some instances where there were some positives and some things he could do better, but we just want there to be an increased level of urgency and responsibility coming in and out of him.”

Cam Akers takes a transfer from Matthew Stafford during Super Bowl 56 against the Bengals

Sean McVay stares intensely at his team as they prepare to kick off the NFL regular season

Sean McVay stares intensely at his team as they prepare to kick off the NFL regular season

“I know what Cam is capable of. We’ve all seen how talented and what a special player this man can be. And I want him to reach his highest potential.”

To make matters worse, Akers carried the ball only three times in those eleven snaps.

Darrell Henderson, who was expected to be Akers’ backup, was on the other side of the field for 54 snaps and a total of 47 yards on 13 carries. Henderson also caught five passes for 26 yards.

Darrell Henderson was on the field for 82% of the Rams offensive snaps against Buffalo

Darrell Henderson was on the field for 82% of the Rams offensive snaps against Buffalo

Henderson ran for 47 yards on 13 carries and had five receptions for 26 yards, in 54 snaps

Henderson ran for 47 yards on 13 carries and had five receptions for 26 yards, in 54 snaps

“We’ve all seen how talented and what a special player this man can be,” said McVay. “And I want him to reach his highest potential. And that’s really all. It ain’t about nothing but when he and Darrell [Henderson] playing at a high level, I feel really good about those two guys running back for us.

And the chances were minimal. There were a number of things within each of those individual games that I think we can be better collectively, starting with me than with the players around him, but also with Cam.

“And so it’s more a reflection of the confidence that I know what he can be and I’m confident that he will be that man we’ve all seen at the right times as this season progresses. And that’s our job to get it out of him.’

It’s also worth noting that Akers is only a year away from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was expected to miss the entire 2021 season, but to the surprise of many, he was able to return in time for the play-offs.

Akers runs through tackle from former Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead during play-offs

Akers runs through tackle from former Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead during play-offs

Akers didn’t do well on the postseason run, rushing for 172 yards in four games and averaging just 2.6 yards per carry.

Since both current and former athletes have well documented that it takes more than a year to fully recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon, it is questionable whether Akers was still included in his role.

Anyway, given how horrible the Rams attack looked on Thursday night, there’s a good chance Akers will be more involved next week.

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