Sean McVay: Cam Akers needs more urgency and accountability

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Cam Akers said everyone would see how healthy it is on Thursday night. Health is not a problem; maximizing his chances.

Coach Sean McVay challenged the running back to do just that after Akers played just 12 snaps in the Rams’ opener against the Bills.

“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 via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “There were some instances where there were some positives and some things he could do better, but we just want an increased level of urgency and responsibility to jump in and out of him.”

Akers had three carries for no yards. Starter Darrell Henderson played 54 snaps and ran 47 yards on 13 carries and caught five passes for 26 yards.

Akers might have seen even fewer opportunities if not for Kyren Williams’ early ankle injury.

With Williams out for 6-8 weeks, the Rams need Akers to support Henderson.

McVay said he knows what Akers is “capable of”, which is why he is confident that Akers will be “that man we’ve all seen at the right times as this season progresses.”

“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’s not about anything other than 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 have every confidence 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.”

Akers missed most of last season after tore his Achilles tendon and came back in time to play the regular season finals, as well as the team’s four postseason games. In the 2021 postseason, he rushed for 172 yards and caught eight passes for 76 yards. He didn’t look like he did in 2020, when he had 156 hits for 748 yards and three touchdowns.

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