Sean McVay: Cam Akers needs an increased level of urgency, accountability

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Cam Akers said everyone will see how healthy he is on Thursday night. Health is not a problem; maximizing your opportunities is.

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

“No matter who you talk to, you want to see guys doing the little things the right way, competing with and without the ball,” McVay said, via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “There have been instances where there were positive things and things he could do better, but we just want to see an increased level of urgency and responsibility click in and out of him.”

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

Akers might have seen even fewer chances had it not been for Kyren Williams’ early ankle injury.

With Williams out 6-8 weeks, the Rams will need Akers to back up Henderson.

McVay said he knows what Akers are “capable of”, which is why he’s confident Akers will be “that guy we’ve all seen in good times as this season continues to progress”.

“We’ve all seen how talented this guy is and what a special player is capable of being,” McVay said. “And I want to see him reach his highest potential. And that’s really all there is to it. It’s about nothing but when he and Darrell [Henderson] play at a high level, I feel really good with these two guys who are ball carriers for us.

“And the opportunities were minimal. There were certain things in each of those individual games that I think we can be better collectively, starting with me, then the players around him, but also with Cam. And so it’s more a reflection of confidence that I know what he can be and I’m confident he’ll be that guy that we’ve all seen in good times as this season continues to progress. And it’s our job to help bring it out of him.

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

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