Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during Friday’s practice.
Rams coach Sean McVay confirmed Woods’ injury to reporters ahead of Rams practice on Saturday.
“You’re sick for Robert,” 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.”
Woods went down with what McVay called “a freak accident,” and then he got up and finished practice. After conducting media interviews following practice, Woods underwent tests that confirmed the injury.
McVay said Woods was running a route without a defender and put his foot in the ground weird.
“He kind of came back and said he felt OK and we ended up getting a scan, and it revealed the result that we all know,” McVay said.
“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 injury came just one day after the Rams added another star to their receiving core as they signed Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham will make his Rams debut against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
“You can see he’s a really sharp guy,” McVay said when asked if Beckham would be ready to play Monday. “Like the look in his eye, and we’ll see how he’s feeling. We’ll see what that looks like if we’re able to utilize him if he’s able to go on Monday.”
Beckham on Saturday acknowledged an increased sense of urgency due to Woods’ injury.
“Whatever I can do to help,” Beckham said. “I’m trying to learn the playbook as fast as possible, and if there’s something [McVay] needs me to do, I’m always willing to do whatever it is. I guess we’ll see come Monday.”
The loss of the receiver, however, cannot be overstated as the Rams aggressively pursue a trip to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in February.
Since the Rams signed Woods in 2017, the ninth-year pro has played a critical role in the passing game as a receiver, blocker and even out of the backfield.
This season, Woods is second on the team behind Cooper Kupp, the NFL’s leading receiver, with 45 catches for 556 yards and four touchdowns. Woods also has rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. His 70 targets this season were tied for 15th in the NFL entering Week 10.
“You don’t ever replace a player like Robert Woods, but you do have to adjust and adapt accordingly,” McVay said, “because him, Cooper … What these guys have been able to do is very unique in all the different ways they contribute to the offense, not exclusive to when they touch the ball.”
Since the Buffalo Bills selected Woods with a second-round pick in 2013, he has never missed more than three games in a season.
At the outset of last season, he agreed to a four-year, $65 million contract extension that begins in 2022.
In 4½ seasons with the Rams, Woods has 367 catches for 4,626 yards and 23 touchdowns and has rushed for 485 yards and five scores.