If the situation continues as it has so far this season, Rams former starting running back Cam Akers has played his last down with the team.
Sources say Akers, who is out today due to what was described as personal reasons, has philosophical and football-related differences with head coach Sean McVay. The coach has left Akers' future open, and sources say the third-year pro could be on the way out.
The belief is that he'll draw significant trade interest, and the team is open to a deal for the right value.
The Super Bowl champs will make Akers inactive for Sunday's game against the Panthers, with McVay, when pressed, saying Friday, "I would say it's more like we're dealing with things internally. This is kind of unchartered territory and I think the biggest thing is, out of respect for the situation, we want to keep it internally."
McVay added, "He's going to be OK."
Akers emerged as the Rams' go-to runner as a rookie during the 2020 season, averaging 4.3 yards per rush and setting himself up for a monster 2021.
But Akers tore his Achilles before the season, setting up a miraculous recovery that saw him play late in the season and into the Super Bowl. Talent-wise, there is no question with Akers. His athleticism numbers are better now than before his Achilles injury, sources say. Two fumbles against the Bucs in the playoffs last season took his situation downward and frustration from all parties was the result.
Sources say the communication between Akers and McVay has remained cordial, and Akers has caused no problems inside the locker room. But questions about his role, where he belongs and his place in the pecking order of running backs have persisted.
That brought everyone to this week with Akers set to inactive. There is always a chance, a source cautions, that Akers snaps back in and he figures it out with McVay.
But absent that sort of dramatic turn, Akers could be headed elsewhere.
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter.