The Los Angeles Rams suffered a big loss this week.
Running back Cam Akers tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the 2021 season.
Rams' RB Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles while working out and underwent testing that confirmed the injury, per source. He is expected to miss the entire 2021 season. https://t.co/Ti6v52bQoy
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 20, 2021
Akers, 22, had 748 total yards in his rookie season of 2020.
In addition to 625 rushing yards and two touchdowns, he also had 123 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.
Replacing Akers this close to the beginning of training camp is a tough challenge.
Here are three possible candidates the Rams could replace Akers with.
3. Le’Veon Bell
Le’Veon Bell is 29 years old and has not regained his form from his Pittsburgh Steelers days from 2013 to 2017.
In five seasons with the Steelers, he had over 5,300 yards rushing and over 2,600 receiving yards.
He ran for 35 touchdowns and caught seven touchdown passes.
The question mark for Bell is can he still do it?
He only started in all 16 regular season games one time in his career and that was in 2014.
Bell started in 15 games two other seasons.
What will he have in the tank after a lackluster 2020 with two teams (Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets) and a new 17-game regular season?
2. Darrell Henderson
It is Darrell Henderson time 🚀 pic.twitter.com/0oUChv6hZ1
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) July 20, 2021
Darrell Henderson, 23, shared carries with Akers in 2020.
He had 783 total yards with 624 yards coming on the ground with five touchdowns.
Henderson added 159 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.
1. Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley was the workhorse that led the Rams to the Super Bowl during the 2018 season.
During that 2018 season, Gurley had 21 touchdowns, 17 rushing and four receiving.
In his six-year career, he has rushed for over 6,000 yards and added 2,200 yards receiving.
Injuries and wear affected Gurley, but if he is healthy and ready, he is the ideal choice.
He knows the system and can plug right into it.
Eric Dickerson is urging the #Rams to re-sign Todd Gurley following Cam Akers' Achilles injury.
"That’s a no-brainer. I mean, he knows the offense, he knows this offense. He doesn’t have to come in and try and learn it. It would be an easy fit."
📰 via TMZ Sports pic.twitter.com/HupI2AeXpl
— CTB (@catchtheblitz) July 22, 2021
Rams legend Erik Dickerson told TMZ Sports the decision to sign Gurley is a no-brainer.
“I mean, he knows the offense, he knows this offense. He doesn’t have to come in and try and learn it. He knows McVay, he knows the guys on the team. That would be an easy fit.”
Other Important Pieces
Maybe the Rams don’t need to look outside the organization for more running back support.
"It's a great feeling of anguish from the #Rams because they love Cam Akers & he was set to have a huge season
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 20, 2021
The fact that the Rams now have Matthew Stafford makes this Akers situation slightly more bearable.
Stafford never had a sufficient running game to work with in Detroit.
Having Henderson in his backfield in LA is a vast improvement from what he had before.
He is a better passer than Jared Goff so the offense is probably evolving into a more pass-friendly one anyway.
The other relevant fact is that the Rams have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
They can hold teams to low points which allows their offense to stay in the game.
Feel Their Way In First 2 Games
The Rams face opponents in Weeks 1 and 2 that also have new quarterbacks.
They are the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts.
Whatever their plans are for the running game need to be firmed up before Week 3 against the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.