Vikings Acquire Cam Akers in Bold Rushing Game Revamp

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings took proactive measures to address their struggles in the rushing game by announcing the acquisition of running back Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams.

This transaction, still pending a physical examination, involves a swap of 2026 draft picks. Additionally, the Vikings will receive a conditional seventh-round pick, while the Rams will obtain a conditional sixth-round selection.

vikings acquire cam akers rushing game revamp

The Vikings have faced significant challenges in their running game, registering a league-low 69 rushing yards this season. This comes after parting ways with their former starting running back, Dalvin Cook, and promoting Alexander Mattison from backup to starter. Their offense has primarily relied on passing, ranking second in the NFL with 674 passing yards.

With an 0-2 start to the season, head coach Kevin O’Connell has emphasized the need for a more reliable and efficient running game. To bolster their offensive line, the Vikings recently signed free agent guard Dalton Risner, hoping to integrate him into the starting lineup in the near future.

Notably, this trade reunites Cam Akers with both O’Connell and Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips, as they were all part of the Rams organization in 2020 and 2021.

Speaking before the trade announcement, Coach O’Connell expressed his excitement about addressing the team’s challenges: “It’s one of the enjoyable aspects of the job when you can collectively identify areas for improvement and work together to enhance them.”

The Vikings have been in search of depth behind Mattison since backup Kene Nwangwu suffered a back injury during training camp and was placed on injured reserve. They had previously considered free agent Kareem Hunt and signed veteran Myles Gaskin after he was released by the Miami Dolphins during final roster cuts.

Ty Chandler, a second-year player, has served as Mattison’s backup for the first two games but has seen limited playing time, with only 19 snaps as a running back. It remains uncertain whether Akers will replace Chandler on the depth chart or if the Vikings will utilize him in a manner similar to Mattison.

For Akers, this trade brings an end to a somewhat unclear period with the Rams. Coach Sean McVay described his decision to deactivate Akers last week as a “coach’s decision” made in the “best interest” of the team. Akers expressed his confusion on social media before the Rams’ game against the San Francisco 49ers.

McVay characterized Akers’ social media post as “surprising” and mentioned that the team had provided clarity to Akers through conversations with him and his agent. Last season, Akers spent a significant period away from the Rams, with McVay acknowledging that they had explored the possibility of a fresh start with another team. While McVay indicated that the current situation with Akers is different from last year, he did not delve into specifics.

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