THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — With coaching camp scheduled to open subsequent week, the Super Bowl hopeful Los Angeles Rams have already suffered a big blow to their offense.
“You just feel so bad for him because he’s doing everything right, he’s working hard,” Rams coach Sean McVay informed ESPN 710 in L.A. on Tuesday.
After a promising end to a rookie marketing campaign that included 561 speeding yards and three touchdowns over the ultimate two months, together with the playoffs, Akers was anticipated to produce a breakout season because the Rams’ featured again and supply run help for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“It’s a big loss,” McVay stated. “But it is an opportunity for others.”
Third-year professional Darrell Henderson Jr. will step into the beginning position and the Rams will take a look at the skills of a number of late-spherical picks and undrafted free brokers all through coaching camp, together with Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, Jake Funk, and Otis Anderson.
“What you do feel good about is you’ve got some young depth on the roster,” stated McVay, who has made three playoff appearances in 4 seasons as coach. “And it will earn guys an opportunity to really see alright, how do they handle a little bit more of a workload, how are they able to handle some competitive opportunities we’ll have.”
Although not within the instant plan, McVay didn’t rule out the potential of trying exterior the group to purchase a veteran working again.
The Rams have about $7 million out there in wage cap house, in accordance to Roster Management, and a number of veteran free brokers stay out there, together with former Rams star Todd Gurley II — who the crew unceremoniously lower following the 2019 season — Adrian Peterson, Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, LeSean McCoy and Le’Veon Bell.
But because the Rams put together to open camp at University of California-Irvine on July 28, it will be on the 5-foot-8, 208-pound Henderson to carry the load.
With a knack to bounce exterior the tackles and skill to catch passes out of the backfield, McVay known as Henderson the “change of pace” again that he had been searching for when the Rams chosen him with a 3rd-spherical decide in 2019 out of Memphis.
As a rookie, Henderson performed behind Gurley, showing in 13 video games and speeding for 147 yards on 39 carries. Last season Henderson performed in a working again committee with Akers and veteran Malcolm Brown, speeding for 624 yards and 5 touchdowns on 138 carries and catching 16 passes for 159 yards and a landing.
Over the summer season, Henderson was slowed throughout the offseason program due to an undisclosed harm, however McVay expressed optimism that he could be prepared for the season.
“He’s feeling better and better,” McVay stated final month. “We expect him to be full speed by the time training camp rolls around.”
The Rams signed Jones as free agent final 12 months after he went undrafted from SMU, the place he led the nation in scoring his senior season, producing 11.5 factors per sport whereas speeding for 23 touchdowns. Jones performed in 13 video games on particular groups final season and was amongst gamers normal supervisor Les Snead stated took a step ahead this offseason.
Claimed off waivers from Denver after coaching camp final 12 months, Calais was a seventh-spherical decide by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. He appeared in 4 video games for the Rams final season, all on particular groups.
The Rams picked Funk this previous May with seventh-spherical choice in anticipation that the rookie might contribute on particular groups, however Funk now additionally has the chance to compete for carries on offense. In 5 seasons at Maryland, Funk suffered two ACL tears; nonetheless, in a condensed 5-sport season due to COVID-19 in 2020, Funk rushed for 516 yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries.
As a rookie final season, Akers led the Rams with 625 yards and two touchdowns on 145 carries and he caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a landing. Akers added to his season complete with two standout playoff performances in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, when he rushed for 131 and 90 yards, respectively.