Adrian Peterson, Top Free Agents Available for Rams After Cam Akers' Reported Injury

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2021

Los Angeles Rams' Cam Akers warms up during NFL football practice in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Thursday, May 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers reportedly suffered a torn Achilles while training Tuesday.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the news, which could lead to the Rams exploring veteran options on the open market. 

Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Le'Veon Bell are among the notable names available in free agency.

Field Yates @FieldYates

The next men up in the Rams' backfield include:<br>* Darrell Henderson<br>* Raymond Calais<br>* Jake Funk <br><br>Available free agents include Adrian Peterson, Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, LeSean McCoy and Le'Veon Bell. <a href="https://t.co/P3wgESuKfx">https://t.co/P3wgESuKfx</a>

Of course, the most intriguing name—both from a Rams and talent perspective—is Todd Gurley II. The three-time All-Pro is still just 26 years old and blossomed as a superstar in head coach Sean McVay's system.

Gurley rushed for 3,413 yards and 42 touchdowns while adding 1,575 yards and 12 scores as a pass-catcher from 2017 to 2019 under McVay. He won the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year award and was second in MVP voting behind Tom Brady that season.

The Rams released Gurley amid his knee issues in order to save cap space ahead of last season, and Gurley looked mostly like a shell of himself in Atlanta. However, the cost to bring him into camp would be minimal in comparison to what he was making on his old contract (four years, $60 million), and he has a proven track record of success.

Having Gurley split carries with Darrell Henderson could be a best-case scenario for the Rams backfield. 

Peterson and McCoy are 30-plus years old and on the last leg of their careers. Bell is nearing 30 and looked completely cooked as an effective running back last season in limited playing time with the Chiefs. 

If the Rams want to explore veteran options, the choice appears to be obvious. None of the veteran names available have more left in the tank than Gurley, and he has a history of success under McVay. 

The Rams are arguably lucky he's still available ahead of camp, which begins July 28.