Summer is the season for offseason NFL breakout projections. Pro Football Focus recently predicted Joe Noteboom to breakout for the Los Angeles Rams. However, the team projected running back Cam Akers to do the same.
Akers is coming out of a mum 2021 campaign due to his torn Achilles sustained in camp last year. However, it was inspiring to see him come back and help the Rams win a Super Bowl.
In the regular season, Akers played in the season finale and ran five times for three yards. Akers would see more involvement in the playoff, though.
He went for 393 yards in four games and averaged 3.48 yards per carry. Additionally, Akers was involved in the Rams’ passing attack. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for 127 yards during the Super Bowl run.
With what Akers played with and the short amount of time he missed, this is a spectacular finish to his season.
However, he will need to return to his rookie form to be considered a breakout candidate.
Completely agree. He turned heads returning in 5.5 months but his stats were AWFUL. Sure he’s had another 7 months to rehab but even still the data is terrible for a RB in his 1st season back. Also, they still have Darrell Henderson who has earned his share of touches
— Tom Christ, PT, DPT, OCS (@FantasyInjuryT) June 1, 2022
Akers doing that is a cause for pause. In 2013, Chris Wesseling of nfl.com wrote, “our research concludes that no running back has ever recaptured sustained pre-injury form after rupturing an Achilles tendon.”
That is the same injury that Akers is coming off, the ailment that caused him to miss much of the season.
Most running backs with this kind of injury don’t see a return to form until years after it occurred. Marlon Mack, who tore his Achilles in 2020, has yet to see any return to form.
Maybe Akers will be different. He certainly has a winning attitude about it if his return last year is anything to go off.
If Akers can exceed his rookie numbers of 2020 while becoming the lead running back for the Rams, he could be in for a breakout campaign. Much more than that, Akers could become the Comeback Player of the Year in 2022.
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