The Rams will be without the services of one of their most important players for the rest of the 2021 season.
Los Angeles wide receiver Robert Woods suffered a torn ACL in practice on Friday, according to ESPN’s Diana Russini and Adam Schefter. Woods was reportedly able to finish practice and conduct interviews with media members, but tests later confirmed the season-ending injury.
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Entering Week 10, Woods had totaled 45 receptions for 556 yards and four touchdowns. He is tied for 17th in the NFL in total targets (69). He has been Matthew Stafford’s second-best option in the passing game behind Cooper Kupp, who leads the league in receptions (74), receiving yards (1,019) and receiving touchdowns (10).
With Woods sidelined, newly signed wideout Odell Beckham Jr. will quickly move up the depth chart. The three-time Pro Bowler is expected to make his Rams debut on Monday night against the 49ers only days after agreeing to sign a one-year deal with Los Angeles.
Beckham struggled in six games with the Browns this season, racking up only 17 catches for 232 yards and no touchdowns before Cleveland released him. Despite those paltry numbers, Rams coach Sean McVay views Beckham as the kind of player capable of making an immediate impact.
“There’s not any limitations to his game,” McVay said. “He’s got the ability to play all over the formation. He can win isolations. He can win short, intermediate, down the field. His career resume kind of speaks for itself. And so that’s an intriguing thing to be able to partner up with anybody that has that natural skill set.”
Prior to Woods’ injury, the Rams had already lost rookies Tutu Atwell and Jacob Harris to season-ending injuries and released DeSean Jackson, making the Beckham addition that much more important. It will be a quick turnaround for Beckham, but McVay believes he won’t have much trouble learning the offensive system.
“Just talking a little bit of ball with them, you can tell he’s got a great football IQ. Even just watching them over the last couple years, he can see the game makes sense to him,” McVay said. “But as far as exactly what it means, what that role looks like, this is something that’s going to be developing as we go, and we’re going to try to get them up to speed as quickly as possible.”