THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Considering how his rib injury occurred, Rams running back Cam Akers' burst, explosiveness and ability to absorb contact against the Washington Football Team was rather impressive.
In Week 2 at Philadelphia, Akers' separated rib cartilage came from landing on the pointed end of the football after a carry, then having three bodies land on top of him.
"Yes, it was painful," Akers said during a video conference with reporters Monday morning.
Fortunately for Akers, treatment and physical therapy with the assistance of the Rams' athletic training staff caused him to miss only two games and afforded a Week 5 return. He made the most of being back at full strength, leading Los Angeles' rushing attack with 61 yards on nine carries in their 30-10 win at Washington.
While the first five of those nine rushing attempts went for modest gains, the sixth proved Akers was at 100 percent.
Taking the handoff from Rams quarterback Jared Goff, Akers weaved through Washington defenders and broke free for a 46-yard gain. He might have gained more on the carry if not for Washington defensive end Montez Sweat – who lined up opposite the play side – catching up to him to make the tackle.
"I thought he had a couple tough runs and then he got hawked by Montez Sweat, so I'm not going to let him live that one down," Rams head coach Sean McVay said with a smile. "That was a great run, to be able to get that going, and then you see a 4.4 d-end, that looked like a big freaking impressive guy chasing him. But he was good."
Collectively, Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcolm Brown helped the Rams rush for 129 yards as a team. Henderson had the most carries with 15 for 38 yards and one rushing touchdown, adding three receptions for 30 yards and one receiving touchdown, while Brown chipped in eight carries for 30 yards.
"(Henderson) and Cam are both young, and even Malcolm's still in the beginning of his career," Goff said. "But having those guys play at the level they're playing at is really good."
From a playing time standpoint, Akers received 13 of the team's 68 offensive snaps, while Brown got 26 and Henderson 29.
Though it was less action than Akers got pre-injury – 24 of 73 snaps against the Cowboys in Week 1 – McVay said "you can expect his workload to increase" against the 49ers this week. Akers is also content filling whatever role the team needs.
"You really can't get frustrated with the process," Akers said, when asked if it was frustrating to share carries and not get the same reps he did before. "I'll take my role as what it is. Whatever this team needs me to be or do, that's what I'll do. Obviously I want more if more is available, but whatever they need me to do at this point in time, or at that point in time in a game, that's what I'll do."
The Los Angeles Rams are in D.C. to take on the Washington Football Team for a Week 5 battle in the Beltway.