The Los Angeles Rams are preparing for life without Todd Gurley, and one of Sean McVay's prospective replacements recently went down with an injury. According to Eric Williams of SI.com, running back Darrell Henderson Jr. suffered a soft tissue injury, and McVay did not release any specifics when it comes to his return timetable. This of course opens the door even more for rookie Cam Akers, who Los Angeles selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Akers is a player who is viewed as a potential "workhorse" for the Rams. The Florida State product rushed for a career-high 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns during his junior season in Tallahassee, and broke Dalvin Cook's freshman record for rushing yards in his first college season (1,025). He's a compact, aggressive prospect who could be a three-down back at the next level. Still, McVay has said that he's in no rush to tab a feature back, and that he would like to adopt the San Francisco 49ers' strategy when it comes to running backs.
"I think it'll just naturally work itself out. I think if you look at that success San Fran had last year with that running back-by-committee approach," McVay said, via NFL.com. "What I thought Kyle and their players did a great job of is, 'Hey, we're going to have an open-mind approach, we're going to be committed to trying to have some balance and then we'll go with the hot hand or whoever really expresses himself as deserving of the carries."
The Rams also have veteran Malcolm Brown and another young player in John Kelly in their backfield, but Akers is the one who has the potential to outshine all of them in this competition. Henderson was a third-round pick in last year's draft, bur rushed for just 147 yards and suffered an injury during his rookie season. He was a player who was getting plenty of run in the early stages of training camp, and now Akers could be the one who benefits from his absence.