On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Rams ruled out wide receiver Van Jefferson for Thursday’s game when the reigning Super Bowl champions host the Buffalo Bills to kick off the 2022 NFL season.
Jefferson has been recovering from a knee strain that has plagued him since January. The 25-year-old wide receiver had what was listed as a “minor procedure” to clean things up during the offseason and was then listed as “100% healthy”.
However, Jefferson suffered a setback during training camp, and on July 31, the Rams announced that he was seeing a specialist for the lingering knee issue. Two days later, Jefferson underwent a second procedure.
While Rams coach Sean McVay characterized the procedure as a minor set back, he said that the wide receiver was not yet ready to play.
“He’s making good progress,” McVay said. “We’re taking it a day at a time with Van, kind of like what we said. That’s where we are with that.”
While Jefferson didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday, it wasn’t until Wednesday that the Rams officially ruled him out of the season opener.
.@CedarsSinai Injury Report: WR Van Jefferson ruled out for Week 1.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 7, 2022
Last season, Jefferson caught 50 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns and then added nine catches for 102 yards in four playoff games before adding four receptions for 23 yards in the Super Bowl.
Now, with today’s announcement that Jefferson will not play Thursday, the question is who will step up when the Rams’ offense lines up against a Buffalo defense that was ranked number-one last season.
While the Rams already have Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson at wide receiver, Jefferson’s absence is one that they will look to address with Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell, Brandon Powell, and Lance McCutcheon.