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Stock Up, Stock Down: Cam Akers in doghouse to start year

Tutu Atwell struggles again, Nick Scott seizes new role

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams Week 1 loss to Buffalo is one of those games where very little went right. There were a few flashes of brilliance, like Cooper Kupp’s toe-tapping masterpiece for a first half touchdown. Outside of the first half and some defensive turnovers, the Rams have a lot of corrections to make. A lot of that can be from the fact the Rams rested their starters in the preseason and appeared rusty.

Who has improved their stock after the first week? Who is left reeling and playing catch up? Here are five players that have elevated their stock and five that have seen their stock drop after Thursday night’s opener and going into Week 2 vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

Stock Up

1. Darrell Henderson, RB

In a surprise move, Henderson was the starter. Obviously, the offense was in disarray, but Henderson had 18 touches. While the volume was not there, Henderson’s stock was elevated nonetheless heading into a Week 2 matchup with Atlanta.

2. Ben Skowronek, WR

Everyone expected Tutu Atwell to be the next man up after Jefferson’s injury, however Ben Skowronek saw 88% of the snaps as WR3. Even though Skowronek is limited with playmaking ability, he recorded four rec (six targets) for 25 yards.

3. Coleman Shelton, RG

I thought Shelton was one of a few offensive players that played well. He showed good pass pro footwork and vision on a stunt by the Buffalo front. Shelton was also responsible for a 4th and 2 conversion in the first half. It was a hustle and effort play that shows Shelton isn’t content with just a starting job.

4. Nick Scott, S

Even though I thought he could be a step faster in coming downhill on slant routes over the middle and end zone, Scott played really in run support. He forced a fumble and was consistently around the ball.

5. Matt Gay, K / Riley Dixon, P

It’s never a good sign when your kicker and punter are top performers, but LA received positives from their kicking unit. Gay’s first field goal of the season was from 57 yards; picking up right where he left on in 2021. Dixon, replacing Johnny Hekker, punted four times for an average of 45.3 yards with two punts landing inside the 20.

Stock Down

1. Cam Akers, RB

It appears the 2020 second-rounder is in Sean McVay’s doghouse. On Monday, the head coach called out his running back, wanting to see more urgency.

2. Tutu Atwell, WR

After a promising training camp with positive reports from players and coaching staff, Atwell failed to erase negative impressions from his rookie year. Atwell was targeted once and dropped Stafford’s pass that hit him in the chest.

3. Tyler Higbee, TE

If any play makers had a rough night on Thursday, it was Higbee. He caught five passes (11 targets) for 39 yards but had two ugly drops. Even Higbee had a disgusted look on his face and appeared dejected. Higbee had seemed to gel with Stafford late last year but they were not on the same page early on, resulting in Stafford’s first interception.

4. “Rest of Offensive Line”

David Edwards had the roughest night of the offensive linemen. Von Miller whipped Joe Noteboom multiple times. Brian Allen suffered a knee injury and will miss two-to-four weeks. The offensive line may have given up seven sacks, but it was the poor run blocking that put themselves in bad spots throughout the game. Entering Week 2, the offensive line will reshuffle with Shelton sliding to center and Tremayne Anchrum taking over at guard.

5. Jordan Fuller, S

After handling starting duties for two years and wearing the green dot last year, Fuller has lost his starting safety spot to Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott. He was on the field for 31% of the defensive snaps but that is a far cry from the 100% he was consistently seeing his rookie and second years.