Rams running backs feeling confident after promising start vs. Cowboys
It was the first game of the post-Todd Gurley era for the Rams.
Akers, a second-round draft pick, started the game, but it was Brown, a sixth-year pro, who got the most carries.
Brown rushed for 79 yards in 18 carries and scored on runs of one and two yards. He also caught three passes for 31 yards, one that covered 18 yards.
Akers rushed for 39 yards in 14 carries. Henderson, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, carried the ball three times for six yards.
The christening of SoFi Stadium by the Rams and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday was equal parts spectacular and strange since no fans were part of the experience.
“I thought we did well,” Brown said. “I felt like it was a pretty good start. Definitely excited that Cam got out there and did his thing.
“You’re always kind of excited for the rookies to get that first feel, and getting me and Darrell in there and contributing the way that we want to… I feel like it’s going to be a fun year, to be able to stay fresh as a running back group and being there and wear defenses down.”
Coach Sean McVay said Akers “is going to get better from this one.” He said Brown was an important part of the game plan, “but he was going to get a lot of opportunities in some of those later-down situations.”
Brown signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent from Texas in 2015. He is enjoying the opportunity after working his way up from special teams standout to Gurley’s backup.
Standout efforts by newcomers combined with a stellar defensive effort propels the Rams to a 20-17 win over the Cowboys in the first NFL game at SoFi Stadium.
When the Rams released Gurley in March, Brown became the elder in the position group.
“Just kind of kept my head down and worked — and I knew eventually I may get a shot, I may not,” he said. “But at the same time you just got to keep going. Just never quit.
“That’s what I tell a lot of guys coming in: It may not be the circumstance you want, but you last long enough and do what you need to do throughout your years in this league and something will spark.
“Opportunity came and I was able to just do what I had to do. So I’m definitely excited for it. Excited for the rest of the season, what we have in front of us, and I think we’re going to do a great job.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.