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Which Rams RB should get the most carries over the rest of the season?

Is it time to unleash Cam Akers?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In their most recent game, the LA Rams were led in rushing yards by rookie Cam Akers, who had nine carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. Most of that came on a 61-yard sprint in the third quarter that sparked the offense in ways it has rarely ignited in the last month. However, Darrell Henderson had more carries, but gained on 19 yards on 10 attempts.

Malcolm Brown, the team’s de facto starter in Week 1 with Henderson recovering from an injury, had three attempts for the second game in a row.

Since back-to-back 10-carry games against the Bears and Dolphins, Brown has been relegated to 12 attempts for 57 yards in the last three games. He has also caught five of five targets for 41 yards gained and lost one fumble. But Brown is still as active as any back on the Rams roster, getting 40% of the offensive snaps last week against the San Francisco 49ers. That is lower than his season average, but Sean McVay has been hesitant to reduce Brown’s time to even one-third of the snaps on offense.

Akers played in 27% of the snaps against the 49ers, his highest rate since Week 1 with Henderson limited. His 4.8 yards per attempt is 0.5 higher than both Brown and Henderson.

That leads me to the second-year back out of Memphis who has played in 37% of the snaps this season, including 32% against San Francisco. After averaging 14.4 rush attempts in his first five starts of 2020, Henderson is down to 8.3 attempts in the last four. In fact, Henderson has 33 carries for 99 yards, one touchdown and four catches for 20 yards in his last four games.

He has not fumbled this year.

Henderson and Akers have the same number of carries over the last four games, it’s just that Henderson and Brown still have considerably more playing time. Will that change for McVay in the final five games — and should it? This week’s opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, may have an average to below average run defense, though their two biggest body blows in run defense have come in their two games against the Seattle Seahawks.

With so many injuries to their defensive line, it could be that the Cards’ run defense is at its most vulnerable right now. Should this be the week for McVay to lean on Akers? Or will he continue to take the conservative approach with Brown as his most-utilized back in terms of snaps played?

Poll

Which RB should get the most carries rest of season?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Darrell Henderson
    (35 votes)
  • 76%
    Cam Akers
    (485 votes)
  • 2%
    Malcolm Brown
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    Even split between all 3
    (33 votes)
  • 9%
    Even split between Henderson, Akers
    (62 votes)
633 votes total Vote Now