The LA Rams received devastating news this week: running back Cam Akers will be out for the entire season with a ruptured Achilles tendon that was suffered on Monday and reported on Tuesday morning. The injury means a long road to recovery for Akers and a short trip to the next guy on the depth chart for the Rams. Akers may not start a game for Los Angeles for a long time yet, but somebody is going to have to do it in Week 1.
After they’ve been through a string of running back injuries in the last few years, the Rams will also have to keep a close eye on those who just became the main backups to the new starter as well.
It may not be long before any of these guys are forced to start a game at running back for the LA Rams. Not satisfied with this list? We also identified 16 backup running backs in the AFC who might be available on the market if Les Snead decides to pick up the phone.
Career: 177 carries, 771 yards, 4.4 YPC, 5 TD, 20 rec, 196 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles
Henderson is now the only running back on the roster who has any real NFL experience under his belt. A third round pick in 2019, the team hoped he could be an heir to Todd Gurley following his own set of injuries, but that never came to fruition. Henderson had an injury setback before Week 1 of last year, leading to Akers and Malcolm Brown getting a heavier workload. He then saw more playing time and rushed for 195 yards in Weeks 2 and 3 combined but he then fell out of favor and only had a couple more games where he contributed much.
Henderson finished the 2020 season on injured reserve. He now becomes the de facto number one but I think training camp will be an opportunity for another player to step up and start at running back for the Rams. Whether he’s on the roster already or not, there should be competition for Henderson.
Jones has more career tackles (3) and kick returns (1) than he does career rushing attempts or offensive snaps (0). He was an undrafted free agent out of SMU in 2020, rushing for 1,276 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior in 2019. Jones did deal with some injuries in college, requiring missed time.
Xavier Jones made a move and hit the jets ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/wmAapjNW9s— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 25, 2019
Calais rushed for 886 yards on 117 carries during his final college season at Louisiana. He was a seventh round pick of the Buccaneers in 2020, then waived and picked up by LA. He has zero career offensive snaps and is expected to be more of a kickoff return specialist.
Injuries were a major part of Funk’s identity at Maryland, where he suffered a torn ACL to each of his knees. He barely saw the field for the first four years of his college career, then had 60 attempts for 516 yards (8.6 YPC) as a fifth year senior. He was a seventh round pick of the Rams this year.
Jake Funk (RB Maryland) ran in the 4.4s, jumped 38” had a 10’ broad jump and incredible 6.71 3-cone. He’s racked up special teams tackles over the years. Guys like this will catch a team’s attention in the draft process. pic.twitter.com/iu5KFOUpIq— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) March 14, 2021
Finally, Anderson was an undrafted free agent pickup out of UCF this year. His career high was 726 rushing yards on 113 carries during his junior season in 2019. Last year, Anderson had 125 carries for 687 yards.