The Rams, just days after head coach Sean McVay confirmed the team was “headed” toward trading their starting running back, struck a deal to send Akers to the Minnesota Vikings. In exchange, the two teams will swap future 2026 draft picks.
Akers was first selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Florida State. He started the season by racking up 29 rushing yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ opening win against the Seattle Seahawks, but he was then a healthy scratch in their Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. McVay called that a “coach’s decision,” but Akers said on social media that morning that he was “just as confused as everybody else.”
“I feel very good about the clarity that was provided to him on Friday and Saturday, both through he and [agent] David Mulugheta,” McVay said of the social media post, via ESPN. “And that’s unfortunate, but I feel like it was very clear in regards to our dialogue.”
Akers racked up a career-high 786 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, his third with the team, and had at least 100 rushing yards in his last three outings. He spent nearly a month away from the club that season, however, and expected to be traded before the deadline last fall — though that didn’t happen.
McVay said the decision to trade Akers this year was “different” from last season, when he said he wanted to see more urgency from Akers and felt like he could use “a fresh new start with another team,” per ESPN.
Now, Akers is getting just that.
Akers will join a Minnesota team that has struggled out of the gate, and he will reunite with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell, who worked with Akers as the Rams’ offensive coordinator for two seasons. The Vikings dropped their first two games of the season. They had just 28 rushing yards as a team in last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, all of which belonged to Alexander Mattison. He had 34 of the team’s 41 rushing yards in their season-opening loss, too, though backup Ty Chandler has yet to record a single rushing yard. The Vikings have recorded an NFL-worst 69 rushing yards through two weeks, and are one of just two teams in the league to sit below 100 rushing yards as a club.
The Vikings will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. It’s unclear when Akers will make his debut with the team. Clearly, though, there’s room for him to help the offense in Minneapolis.
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