Receiver Van Jefferson is just not the one member of the Rams passing assault with a bodily situation that’s trigger for concern.
Add quarterback Matthew Stafford to the checklist.
Jefferson can have knee surgical procedure Tuesday, placing his standing for the Sept. 8 opener in opposition to the Buffalo Payments “up in the air,” and the Rams took steps to make sure that Stafford is able to play in that recreation with out lingering ache in his proper arm, coach Sean McVay stated Monday.
Stafford performed by means of arm ache whereas main the Rams to a Tremendous Bowl title, and he obtained an injection in the course of the offseason. He didn’t throw passes throughout organized-team exercise exercises, however he had been a full participant in coaching camp practices.
On Saturday, Stafford was requested how his arm felt, and if he was having to do something totally different to handle it between exercises.
“It’s coming along,” he stated. “I’m kind of right where I want to be and just continue to get it feeling better. Get it stronger.
“As far as things different, piecing this thing together every year is a little bit different,” he stated, working his arms in entrance of his physique. “So, yeah, there’s different challenges. We go from there.”
On Monday, Stafford participated in particular person drills however didn’t participate in full-team drills. McVay stated Stafford’s workload can be “lessened” in the course of the weeks main as much as the opener as a result of he continues to expertise discomfort.
“He’s still feeling a little bit of pain,” McVay stated. “He could push through it. … We felt like the smart thing was let’s really just take it a week at time. … The most important thing is for him feeling good and healthy on Sept 8.
“We could certainly push, and he could really grind through this, but that’s not the goal with somebody like him. It’s not something that we’re concerned about, but we just want to be really smart with somebody as important as a quarterback is.”
Jefferson had surgical procedure on his left knee within the weeks following their Tremendous Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn’t take part in drills throughout organized-team actions however made a number of spectacular catches within the first week of coaching camp earlier than he was absent Saturday.
Tuesday’s process can be on the identical knee for what McVay described as a “little knee tweak” that was unrelated to final season’s subject.
“It is the same knee, but it is a little different area,” McVay stated. “And it’s a minor thing that we’ll be able to clean up.
“So we’re encouraged.”
Jefferson’s absence plunges one of many NFL’s doubtlessly most potent receiving corps right into a collection of query marks because the Rams put together for the Payments, who’re considered a Tremendous Bowl contender.
Cooper Kupp, the reigning NFL offensive participant of the 12 months, and new addition Allen Robinson present McVay and Stafford two elite targets.
However the lack of Jefferson might lower deep.
The third-year professional final season caught 50 passes, six for touchdowns. He additionally displayed deep-play functionality and averaged 16 yards per catch.
Second-year professionals Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell are in line to exchange Jefferson.
Skowronek, a seventh-round draft decide, caught 11 passes for 133 yards final season. He can play quite a few receiver positions and in addition excels on particular groups.
Atwell, a second-round decide, is making an attempt to return again from a disappointing rookie season. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Atwell appeared overmatched and couldn’t discover a position as a receiver. He returned kicks for eight video games till he suffered a season-ending shoulder harm.
Through the offseason, Atwell sought steerage from Kupp and labored intently with the All-Professional to enhance and achieve power. He made a number of performs Monday.
McVay additionally continues to overtly courtroom free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to re-sign with the Rams.
Final season, Beckham signed with the Rams after the commerce deadline and helped them make their Tremendous Bowl run. He suffered a knee harm within the second quarter of the Tremendous Bowl in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals and has been recovering from surgical procedure.
Beckham is just not anticipated to be able to play till midseason.
However after McVay listed the receivers that on the roster who may gain advantage from elevated alternative, he couldn’t assist including a rejoinder.
“And then we’ll continue to see if we can continue to figure when Odell will come back at some point as well,” he stated.