Prediction No. 1
Cam Akers will lead the Vikings backfield in touches
The Vikings’ philosophy under Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been to evaluate the roster at the beginning of the year, let the first few weeks play out, and see if there are avenues to improve the team. Adofo-Mensah cashed in on an opportunity to trade for T.J. Hockenson at least year’s trade deadline, and Minnesota is hoping that Cam Akers can have a similar effect on their running game beginning Sunday afternoon.
Akers’s career has been a wild ride since he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, running for 625 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. After tearing his Achilles in training camp the following year, Akers made it back in time for the Super Bowl and ran for 786 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022.
Even with modest production, Akers has been a mercurial talent. Akers missed three games last season while the Rams attempted to trade for him and ran for 29 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown in a Week 1 win over the Seattle Seahawks before being deactivated for Week 2’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Akers’s recent production doesn’t suggest the Vikings are buying high, but that has been Adofo-Mensah’s motivation since becoming general manager. Akers worked with Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell in Los Angeles and should have a grasp of the system heading into Sunday’s game with the Chargers.
The Vikings aren’t looking to erase Alexander Mattison from the offense, but getting someone who can compliment him should be a good move going forward. Akers won’t have a massive advantage, but it may not be a surprise if he has the most touches of any Minnesota back in Week 3.