The unfortunate news was released this morning of a Cam Akers injury. The second-year Los Angeles Rams running back tore his Achilles, ending his 2021 campaign before it could even begin. Akers was looking like he was slated to have a huge season in the news Rams offense.
That being said, with Akers now injured, the Rams are in search of another running back. They currently have Darrell Henderson as their lead back, who accounted for 624 yards and five touchdowns last season, adding on 16 receptions for another 159 yards and a touchdown. While those are decent numbers for a backup, Henderson recorded those numbers by starting in 11 games, which doesn’t inspire much confidence. So, the Rams should be looking to veteran free agent RBs that are still available. Here are three that could be a fit.
Veteran Free Agent RBs Available Following the Cam Akers Injury
The Rams could look to bring the magic back to Todd Gurley’s career by providing him a second chance with the team. In his first stint with the Rams, Gurley accounted for 5,404 yards and 58 touchdowns on the ground, and added 218 receptions for 2,090 yards and another 12 touchdowns across his five years in that position. Gurley tried to prove his knee issues were behind him, but his unsuccessful time in Atlanta proved that they were not gone just yet. In 15 starts, Gurley accounted for 842 total yards and nine touchdowns. Should the Rams bring Gurley back, he would probably split time with Henderson to start, unless Gurley returns to his Pro Bowl form.
Adrian Peterson has shown time and time again that he still has a lot left in the tank. Last season, Peterson played as a rotational player on the Detroit Lions. He mustered up 10 starts in 16 games played, putting up 705 total yards and seven total touchdowns. Peterson’s versatility would allow him to fit well into Sean McVay’s system. He would also play a good complimentary role with Henderson’s skillset. Bringing in Peterson would also give new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford a familiar face and my provide him some additional relief.
He would be a cheap option for a one-year player, as the Rams currently struggle with a salary cap issue.
Le’Veon Bell is coming off a difficult year, where he appeared in only 11 total games for the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. In those 11 games, Bell accounted for 466 total yards and only two touchdowns. It wasn’t a great season for Bell, by any means. However, Bell has shown in the past that he has the skills and ability to be a lead back in the NFL. When he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell was a top-five running back in the league, thanks to his good offensive line, defensive support and quarterback with an understanding of the game. Those three traits all lie with the Rams now as well. Bell can be used in several different ways, many of which were planned for Akers, and McVay would have a ton on new plays designed around Bell’s ability.