A potential Cam Akers deal has been rumored for quite some time, and the LA Rams finally found a trade partner willing to take him off their hands.
The Minnesota Vikings will be Akers’ new NFL home as the teams also swap late-round draft picks in the deal. Two games into the 2023 season, the Vikings are 0-2 and rank dead last in the league in rushing. Akers wasn’t exactly killing it in Los Angeles this year (he only played in the season opener), but he should be able to help improve Minnesota’s nonexistent run game.
Minnesota averages 2.6 yards per carry through the first two games of the year, totaling just 69 yards as a team. You might as well say they have zero running game because that is abysmal. While Akers was off to a slow start in LA, rushing for 1.3 yards per carry, his career average is 4.0. So, the likelihood of him getting better as the season progresses is favorable.
The Vikings need all the help they can get in that department as the season gradually slips away. Their Week 3 bout at home against the Chargers is a battle of franchises needing to save themselves from early elimination. An 0-3 start doesn’t eliminate a team mathematically, but it’s hard to make up that ground and climb back into playoff contention.
After winning 13 games and the NFC North crown last year, the Vikings haven’t been able to piece it all together in 2023. The passing game is still lethal, with Kirk Cousins airing it out to Justin Jefferson. That seems to be all they’ve got going for them right now. Running the ball has become less of a staple in the Vikings’ offense with the emergence of Jefferson over the last couple of years, but you still need to be able to run it somewhat effectively.
Once Akers gets his legs under him in Minnesota, that should help improve the run attack. Hopefully, it’s not too late by that point because they’re already in a two-game hole. They’ll need Akers to acclimate quickly if they hope to keep pace in the NFC North and the conference overall.
Akers will have big shoes to fill, essentially replacing Dalvin Cook, who rushed for no less than 1,135 yards in each of the last four seasons. He also carried the rock for at least 4.4 yards per attempt during those campaigns. Akers has yet to rush for 1,000 yards in his four years in the NFL but has shown potential at times. His relationship with the Rams was strained most of last year when he initially asked to be traded. That request was denied and put on the back burner.
Following a Week 1 victory over Seattle, Akers’ tenure in LA came to an end as he was made inactive by head coach Sean McVay for Week 2 against San Francisco. Now, just days later, Akers gets the trade he’d been looking for and a fresh start now and can begin reestablishing his career.
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