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Big blow, Big gains: Cam Akers injury could help the Lions’ 2022 draft

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles while working out, and reports have surfaced that he’ll miss the entire 2021 season.

Injuries are a bummer. 

And it’s unfortunate for the Rams that Akers, 22, that his sophomore season will be cut short. Akers displayed his incredible talent last season. As a rookie, he led the Rams in rushing with 625 yards and two touchdowns in just 13 games. Along with that, on 145 carries, he averaged 4.2 yards per. His loss will be a tremendous blow to the Rams. 

However, his injury could become a significant plus for the Detroit Lions. And it is for one big reason: Akers missing the season could improve the Detroit Lions’ 2022 Draft position.

LA Rams Cam Akers expected to miss the 2021 NFL season.
May 27, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) during organized team activities. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When the Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff, they also acquired several draft picks. 

Two of those were first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.

While Stafford still has supporters in Motown who wish to see him do well, it’s safe to surmise they’d want the Lions to benefit more. And for the Lions to benefit from those picks, the Rams must struggle. 

The Rams are heading into this season with reportedly the 10th-hardest schedule. So losing Akers doesn’t make Matthew Stafford’s job any easier. Fortunately for him, Darrell Henderson is still in town. In 15 games last season, Henderson rushed for 624 yards and five touchdowns on 138 carries. So the Rams still having the third-year back is critical. 

However, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they have no immediate plans to address their running back depth.

Instead, they’ll believe in Henderson, along with Xavier Jones and Jake Funk. Based on the stats mentioned, having faith in Henderson is logical. 

Having faith in Jones and Funk is another thing. Both are no Darrell Henderson. And they definitely aren’t a Cam Akers.

Jones is an undrafted back from SMU, who barely saw the field last season. And Funk is their seventh-round selection from this year’s draft. It’s hard to predict how much of a contributor he will be.

Combine all of this, and the Rams have many question marks with their RB unit, which could be music to the Lions’ ears. While it’s not classy to root for players to be injured, they are a part of the game. And the Lions may potentially benefit from another team’s misery for once.

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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Kory Woods