Despite the arrival of Odell Beckham in Los Angeles on Friday, the Rams receiving corps suffered a big loss.
Veteran wideout Robert Woods sustained a torn ACL in Friday’s practice and will miss the remainder of the 2021 season, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports, per a source.
Rams coach Sean McVay confirmed Woods’ injury to reporters ahead of Rams practice on Saturday.
“You’re sick for Robert [Woods],” McVay said. “Like we kind of mentioned yesterday, he’s epitomized everything that has been right about this place. Such a great competitor, such a tough player, such a great football player and a great person. It’s so unfortunate.”
NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reports Woods’ knee injury came while running a jet sweep while uncovered and something felt awry while planting his foot. There was hope last night that it wasn’t serious, according to Schrager, but further testing confirmed the extent of his injury.
“What a perspective this game gives you,” McVay lamented. “He’s just running something on air, puts his foot in the ground weird and he kind of came back and said he felt OK. We ended up getting a scan and unfortunately it revealed the result we all know.
“He will attack his rehab the right way. Love Robert Woods. Guys will be asked to step up in his absence. You don’t ever replace a player like him, but it will certainly require a lot of guys to play better and really carry the torch because of everything that we miss without him.”
The loss of Woods makes makes Thursday’s signing of Beckham all that more important. Yet, Woods’ veteran leadership and dynamic ability to catch and run will be sorely missed for a Rams team with Super Bowl aspirations. Second-year WR Van Jefferson is assumed to receive the large majority of Woods’ snaps just days after being relegated on the depth chart upon Beckham’s arrival.
The Rams (7-2) are on the road Monday night to face the San Francisco 49ers (3-5). It’s unclear whether Beckham will make his debut with the Rams in Week 10, but the situation may call for the star WR to suit up. McVay told reporters there is a “chance” Beckham plays but wants to see him practice with the team first.
In nine games this season, Woods had 45 receptions for 556 yards and four touchdowns while adding another score on the ground. Known for his sure hands as well as his durability, the 29-year-old had never missed more than three games in a season during his nine-year career.
Woods has spent the past five seasons in Los Angeles, where he grew up and played his college ball at the University of Southern California. He signed a free-agent deal with the Rams ahead of the 2017 season after a four-year stint with the Bills, who selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Woods has 570 receptions for 7,077 yards and 35 TDs in his NFL career so far.
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