Cam Akers and the Rams seemed primed for a divorce for weeks, with the third-year running back peeved with his role in Los Angeles and the trade deadline looming. But when the clock hit 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Akers was still on the team, not for a lack of other suitors' trying.
The Rams turned down multiple offers for the disgruntled tailback ahead of the trade deadline, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday. Los Angeles is now working with Akers and his representation in hopes that he will play for the team again this season, Pelissero added, per sources.
Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed later Wednesday that he had "a really good conversation" with Akers and his agent and they are "working through a couple different options." McVay added that there is a "possibility" that Akers practices this week.
"As far as playing on Sunday (at Buccaneers), I don't want to put the cart before the horse," McVay told reporters. "We're working through some different things. Like I said, probably after we had that conversation, got a couple different things that are some options that we can potentially do moving forward, and we'll have clarity on that as far as getting him back, working with this group, or if that means exploring other avenues."
Akers has been inactive for the past two games for what the team has called "personal reasons." NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Oct. 16 that Akers had philosophical and football-related differences with McVay and that Los Angeles was expected to field trade calls for the RB. The Rams coach himself said ahead of the deadline that moving Akers was a consideration and a probability.
However, no move came to fruition, leaving Los Angeles with a backfield that (for now) includes Akers, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, Ronnie Rivers and the returning Kyren Williams.
With and without Akers in the lineup, the Rams have struggled mightily on the ground this year. Los Angeles is averaging a near-league-low 68.4 yards per game, surpassing only their Week 9 opponent, the Buccaneers (61.9). No team has ever averaged fewer than 70 rushing YPG and made the playoffs. Akers, just over a year removed from a torn Achilles, is averaging a paltry 3.6 yards per touch in five games played and two starts this season.
All that, along with Akers' issues with the offense, is why the Rams aggressively pursued Christian McCaffrey ahead of the deadline, falling a fourth-round pick short of acquiring him from the Panthers. To make matters worse for Los Angeles, CMC landed with its division rivals in San Francisco and broke out last week against the Rams with a rare TD trifecta.
Multiple teams made moves for running backs at the deadline -- Miami replaced Chase Edmonds with Jeff Wilson, the Colts and Bills swapped Nyheim Hines and Zack Moss, etc. -- but the Rams chose not to move Akers or add another tailback.
Whether the former second-round pick is ready this week for a second chance in L.A. remains to be seen, but now that the trade deadline has passed, the Rams and their unhappy running back have run out of options: Either play or part ways.