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Rams: 2 first-stringers in danger of losing starting jobs ahead of 2022 NFL season

Los Angeles Rams, Van Jefferson, Cam Akers

The Los Angeles Rams finished last season as the best team in the NFL. The Super Bowl winners are now looking to go back-to-back.

The Rams have put together a roster full of elite talent. The offense is headlined by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp. But they have also put together strong talent to build out the rest of the group.

The same can be said for the defense. The unit is led by superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Players such as Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd just help make the group even better.

With a roster of this caliber, many of these starters could end up competing for their spots. The Rams have backups who are also extremely talented and could very well be starters on other units around the NFL.

With that being said, the Rams have multiple players who could be in danger of losing their starting spots. But two players, in particular, come to mind.

The pre-season is quickly approaching. They may need to use that opportunity to cement their spots. Or their starting jobs could be up in the air.

Rams First-Stringers In Danger Of Losing Starting Jobs In 2022

2. Van Jefferson

Wide receiver Van Jefferson played a big part in the Rams’ super bowl run. The second-year receiver had a breakout season in 2021. He made drastic jumps in each receiving category and looked to be a legitimate threat.

Jefferson finished the season with 50 receptions, 802 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. He averaged 16.0 yards per reception.

Jefferson will now be headed into a 2022 season that could be a little tougher. Not only did the Rams bring in veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson, but several of the other players on their roster have made significant jumps towards being better.

One player that has made significant strides is second-year wide receiver Tutu Atwell. The Rams added Atwell in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft.

The former Louisville product played just ten offensive snaps in eight games last season.

Atwell, when healthy, primarily served as the Rams kick and punt returner. But throughout this training camp, Atwell has capitalized on the absence of Jefferson, who recently had knee surgery.

Atwell has taken on much of the reps that would have typically fallen to Jefferson. He has been solid and has made several big plays.

Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp has spoken highly of the young pass-catcher.

Given that Atwell can continue to impress, a starting spot could be his. Jefferson could be the one who ends up losing playing time to his fellow Rams receiver.

1. Cam Akers

Running back Cam Akers could be at risk of losing his starting job heading into this season.

Unfortunately for Akers, he lost nearly the entire 2021 season due to a torn Achilles. He made his return near the end of the season and played a role in the Rams’ Super Bowl run.

In his lone regular season game, Akers had five rushing attempts. He recorded just three rushing yards. In the same game, he recorded three receptions for 10 receiving yards.

In the playoffs, Akers recorded 172 rushing yards on 67 attempts. He added 76 receiving yards on eight total receptions.

During his rookie season in 2020, Akers showed flashes of how good he could be. He appeared in 13 games for the Rams and started five. He finished the season with 625 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He added 123 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown on 11 total receptions.

Now that Akers is back to 100%, the starting job is his to lose. But the Rams’ current RB2 could make the move to grab it.

Darrell Henderson has stepped in as the Rams’ lead back on multiple occasions. Now as the former Memphis running back heads into year four, he could look to cement himself as the Rams’ new RB1.

Henderson has started 21 games and appeared in 40 since joining the Rams in 2019. When on the field, he has rushed for 1,459 yards and added ten touchdowns. He has also been a receiving threat, totaling 49 receptions for 372 yards and four touchdowns.

The Rams are looking to win another Super Bowl. They will put the players on the field that give them the best chance to win. If Akers struggles, they could look to make the switch to Henderson.