Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers (31) runs with the ball against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
With the Vikings struggling to run the ball during the first half of the regular season, Minnesota made the decision to trade for RB Cam Akers.
Unfortunately, that experiment would be short-lived. Akers suffered a torn Achilles injury during Minnesota’s Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons and would miss the remainder of the season.
A prominent Vikings-themed account on Instagram, Vikes Verified, made a post asking the question, “Will the Vikings reach a deal with RB Cam Akers this offseason? Akers showed explosiveness in a minimal role this season, & is still just 24 years old. Coming off a torn Achilles, it appears Cam is progressing much ahead of schedule, which is no surprise after he CAME BACK in just 6 months for the Rams playoff run in 2021- 2022. Not only did he come back, he was a significant piece on that championship team. Would you bring Akers back in 2024?”
The running back found the post and replied, “I think so.”
Injured Vikings Free Agent Wants to Return
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers (31) catches a pass in the second half as Chicago Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards (53) closes in to defend at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Akers is slated to be one of the many free agents on Minnesota’s roster this spring, so the Vikings will have to re-sign him in order for him to come back in 2024.
The running back began his career with the Los Angeles Rams after being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It is also not the first time that he is recovering from an Achilles injury.
During Akers’ first NFL season in 2020, he totaled 145 carries for 625 yards and a pair of TDs. However, a torn Achilles caused him to miss all but one game in 2021, Kevin O’Connell’s final season as offensive coordinator in Los Angeles. The RB would return in time for the playoffs, totaling 67 carries for 172 yards en route to the Rams’ Super Bowl victory.
Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) celebrates with Melissa Whitworth, wife of teammate offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77), after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Akers got off to a slow start in 2022, but came roaring back down the stretch of the season, totaling 63 carries for 345 rushing yards and 3 TDs in the final three games of the season. In total, he recorded 188 carries for 786 yards and 7 TDs during the 2022 campaign.
Following the trade, Akers had a strong couple games with the Vikings prior to his injury. He put together 38 carries for 138 yards and the first rushing touchdown of Minnesota’s season in Week 8 against the Packers. Akers also caught 11 passes for an additional 70 yards. He played six games.
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers (31) runs with the ball against the San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
In the end, bringing Akers back could be wise for Minnesota as they try to rejuvenate their rushing attack. The running back won’t turn 25 years old until June, and as long as he is healthy enough to play, he brings an intriguing skillset both as a runner and passer.
The league’s free agency period will start on March 13th.
Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.