Rams’ Van Jefferson may endure knee process this week

Throughout his rookie season, receiver Ben Skowronek was on the sector with receiver Van Jefferson for key moments through the Rams’ run to a Tremendous Bowl title.

Now Skowronek would possibly substitute Jefferson — at the least on the outset of the season.

Jefferson, who was getting back from offseason knee surgical procedure and has been absent from observe for 2 days, may endure one other knee process early this week, two individuals with information of the scenario mentioned Sunday, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the scenario.

The Rams had been relying on a beginning receiver corps that included reigning NFL offensive participant of the 12 months Cooper Kupp, new addition Allen Robinson and Jefferson, a third-year professional who caught 50 passes final season, six for touchdowns.

But when Jefferson undergoes a comparatively minor process, he most likely can be sidelined at the least for the Sept. 8 opener towards the Buffalo Payments at SoFi Stadium.

On Saturday, after Jefferson was absent from observe, Rams coach Sean McVay declined to offer particulars about Jefferson’s scenario. McVay was not scheduled to talk with reporters on Sunday, and the staff didn’t make him out there to deal with Jefferson’s standing.

If Rams receiver Van Jefferson is sidelined, Ben Skowronek (18) is presently the subsequent man up.

(Elaine Thompson / Related Press)

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen didn’t present particulars about Jefferson’s scenario however mentioned it offered alternative for different gamers — and for coaches — to step up.

“A great opportunity for us to get creative in different ways that we can put guys in different positions to help our offense,” Coen mentioned.

Skowronek, 6 ft 3 inches and 224 kilos, is accustomed to seizing alternative.

After taking part in components of 4 seasons at Northwestern, he transferred to Notre Dame. In 9 video games, he caught 5 landing passes and averaged 15 yards per catch.

The Rams chosen Skowronek within the seventh spherical of the 2021 draft, with the 249th decide. He initially was projected as a special-teams contributor and potential fifth or sixth receiver in a corps that included Kupp, Jefferson, Robert Woods, Desean Jackson and second-round decide Tutu Atwell.

Then Jackson, sad together with his function, was launched after eight video games. Atwell appeared overwhelmed by taking part in receiver within the NFL and returned kicks for eight video games earlier than struggling a season-ending shoulder damage. Woods suffered a season-ending knee damage with eight regular-season video games remaining.

Regardless of the signing of Odell Beckham Jr., Skowronek carved out a job together with his velocity, energy and flexibility. He caught 11 passes for 133 yards within the final 10 video games.

After Sunday’s observe, he mentioned he welcomed extra alternatives.

“I’m really looking forward to getting these reps with [quarterback] Matthew [Stafford], the first-team offense, stuff like that,” he mentioned. “Just getting comfortable each and every day.”

Skowronek, 25, mentioned he realized from miscues and mishaps throughout a rookie season through which he performed 4 receiver positions and particular groups.

Within the NFC championship sport towards the San Francisco 49ers, Skowronek dropped what would have been a 38-yard landing move.

After Beckham suffered a second-quarter knee damage within the Tremendous Bowl towards the Cincinnati Bengals, McVay and receivers coach Eric Yarber known as upon Skowronek. Early within the third quarter, a move bounced off Skowronek’s left hand and into the arms of Bengals defensive again Chidobe Awuzie for an interception.

“Being thrown into the fire, whether it’s playoff games, especially the Super Bowl, at positions I might not have practiced throughout the year, I think it’s going to be great for me to look back at that and be able to see how I grew,” Skowronek mentioned. “Adversity builds character.”

Coaches and teammates have mentioned that the 5-9, 165-pound Atwell has made strides, however going into coaching camp, Skowronek’s play final season ultimately made him the fourth receiver behind Kupp, Robinson and Jefferson.

Yarber this week described Skowronek as his “Swiss Army knife” of the receiving corps.

“His strength is his speed and his physicalness — that’s his access,” Yarber mentioned. “That’s the way he should play. No finesse, but speed and confidence.

“Finesse will be his changeup.”

Skowronek studied and realized from Kupp, Woods, Jefferson and Beckham final season, and from Robinson throughout offseason exercises and coaching camp.

But he is not going to attempt to be any person aside from himself, he mentioned.

“I’m someone who got drafted 249, you know, nothing given to me,” he mentioned. “I had to beat out a lot of guys throughout camp last year to even make the team.

“So I love adversity, it’s something that motivates me. I love when people count me out.”