In a significant development, the Minnesota Vikings have taken decisive action to address their rushing struggles. The team announced on Wednesday that they have acquired running back Cam Akers from the Los Angeles Rams. While the deal is pending a physical examination, it includes a 2026 draft pick swap, with additional conditions involving a seventh-round pick for the Vikings and a sixth-rounder for the Rams.
The Vikings have faced considerable challenges in the rushing department this season, currently ranking at the bottom of the NFL with just 69 rushing yards. This situation arose following the departure of former starting running back Dalvin Cook and the promotion of longtime backup Alexander Mattison. The team has also executed only 23 carries by running backs, preferring to focus their offense primarily on passing, which has yielded the NFL’s second-highest yardage at 674.
With a winless start to the season (0-2), Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has emphasized the need for a more dependable and efficient running game. In an effort to bolster the offensive line, the Vikings recently signed free agent guard Dalton Risner, hoping to integrate him into the starting lineup in the coming weeks.
The acquisition of Cam Akers reunites him with both O’Connell and Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips, both of whom were previously associated with the Rams during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Coach O’Connell, speaking before the trade was confirmed, expressed his enthusiasm for addressing and improving the team’s performance, stating, “It’s one of the fun parts of the job when you can visually and collectively as a group identify some things and [say], ‘Let’s go fix them. Let’s go try to do them better and see what that looks like.'”
Trade: Rams are sending RB Cam Akers to the Minnesota Vikings for a swap of 2026 draft picks, per sources. pic.twitter.com/d79HmNT00u
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2023
The Vikings had been in search of depth behind Alexander Mattison since backup Kene Nwangwu suffered a back injury during training camp, subsequently landing on injured reserve. They had previously hosted free agent Kareem Hunt for a visit in August and signed veteran Myles Gaskin after his release from the Miami Dolphins during the final roster cuts.
Ty Chandler, a second-year player, had been serving as Mattison’s backup in the first two games but had seen limited action with only 19 snaps as a running back. The impact of Cam Akers on the Vikings’ depth chart and his role within the team remains to be determined.
For Cam Akers, this trade brings an end to a somewhat uncertain period with the Rams. Rams’ Coach Sean McVay deactivated Akers last week, citing it as a “coach’s decision” in the “best interest” of the team. Akers posted a message expressing his confusion on social media, stating, “I’m just as confused as everybody else. I’m blessed though.”
McVay responded to the situation by expressing surprise at Akers’ social media post and emphasizing the clarity provided to the player regarding the team’s decision. While Akers spent a significant portion of last season away from the Rams, this situation is described as different, though specific details were not disclosed.
This trade marks a bold move by the Minnesota Vikings to address their rushing struggles and inject new energy into their offense. The acquisition of Cam Akers adds a layer of excitement and anticipation for fans as the team strives to improve its performance in the coming games.
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