Cam Akers can help rehabilitate Rams’ ground game – Press Enterprise

Cam Akers knew immediately what was wrong. What he did not know, and what hurt worse, was what it could mean for his football future.

Akers did a pre-training camp workout he described as “knee-ups” near the Rams’ training facility in Thousand Oaks in July last year when he felt a jump in one heel. He looked behind him to see if anyone had hit him. But there was none within 15 yards.

The Rams’ leading rusher as a rookie in 2020 had torn his right Achilles tendon over.

“I called my mother. I cried,” Aker said Thursday in a Zoom call with reporters, where he spoke publicly for the first time about his injury and comeback and described his reactions.

“And then, two days later, all my emotions were geared towards ‘What do I have to do to get back?’ The fear of not coming back (as) the same me was all the motivation I needed. ”

Less than six months after surgeon Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic repaired the injury, Akers took the first official steps in his comeback when he came off the bench on Sunday to carry the ball five times (in 3 yards) and catch three passes (to 10) in the Rams’ 27-24, overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Akers said he was not sore after the limited action, saying he is ready to take more of the burden from Sony Michel in the Rams’ playoff opener against the Arizona Cardinals Monday night at SoFi Stadium.

What remains to be seen is how quickly he becomes the same Cam Akers who ran after 131 yards, a playoff record for a Rams rookie, in their first-round victory over the Seattle Seahawks last January.

“(We) are looking for more of him as he continues to get healthy,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said.

Akers shared the credit for his quick return with others

Ram’s Director of Rehabilitation Byron Cunningham and Reggie Scott’s training staff “did a fantastic job of mapping out a plan and making sure I followed it to a T.”

The native of Clinton, Mississippi, who starred in Florida State, kept her injury in perspective by remembering “some of the things I’ve seen some of my family and people go through.”

“I prayed. That’s probably the most important thing,” Akers said.

But the comeback in time for the playoffs would not have happened without a versatile effort from Akers, who set up a training room so he could stack rehabilitation representatives at home.

“When he was going through rehab, we could see him (training) on ​​the sidelines, and you could see his movements and his speed,” Ram’s linebacker Von Miller said. “I’ve been thinking ‘He’ll be ready’ for at least a month and a half now.

“It’s just in time, (to go into) the playoffs. Sony has played well. Cam Akers is back. It should pay off for us.”

More production from Akers will require a better all-around lane play than the Rams had against San Francisco, which kept them at the season’s worst 2.4 yards per game.

“You were crushed on his behalf at the start of the season. But you know he’s struggled to get back and healthy and look good,” said right tackle Rob Havenstein. “Of course we need to do better up front by give him clean holes and all that sort of thing. ”

Akers said he is driven to be “better than I was before I got hurt.”

It was widely assumed that the injury would cost him the entire 2021 season.

But waiting for next season, after an injury that could take up to a year to recover for a footballer, did not seem acceptable to Akers as the Rams steamed towards the playoffs.

“I want to win a Super Bowl. That’s why we play the game,” said Akers. “If I’m able to come back and contribute and help us win, honestly, why should I not?”

He said he feels 100%.

“But I say it, probably does not make you believe it,” Akers said. “I’d rather just play ball and show people.”

WEDDLE SET TO PLAY

Eric Weddle, who is coming out of a two-year retirement to help the Rams ‘exhausted security corps, said he feels good because it has worked as if he was still playing and has seen every snap of the Rams’ matches on television this season.

Like Akers, Weddle said his comeback is motivated by a shot at a Super Bowl.

“Whether I’m crazy or not, it’s up to everyone else to decide,” Weddle, 37, said during a 45-minute Zoom chat with reporters after attending a review exercise. “It’s so much I value and believe in and want a chance in the Super Bowl.

“That’s why I played. Now you say, now I get a chance I can actually go and help and do this? Sign up!”

The Alta Loma High (Rancho Cucamonga) product never reached a Super Bowl in nine seasons with the Chargers, three with the Ravens and one with the Rams.

McVay, who said the Rams contacted Weddle with the offer to return, said the two-time All-Pro’s role on the field against the Cardinals needs to be determined.

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