3 ways to fix the LA Rams return game for 2021
By Bret Stuter
One of the most confusing decisions for the Rams 2020 NFL season was the move to sign speedster running back Raymond Calais from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad, only to do so little with him once he arrived. It continues to baffle me to this day. It seems that if the Rams were serious enough to dedicate one of their 53 man roster spots to a 5-foot-8 188-pound running back, they would feature him on special teams, or rotate him in for offensive snaps.
Calais never took an offensive snap for the entire 2020 NFL season. While he did see some action on special teams, he only saw 34 snaps on special teams. In just four games, he managed to return kickoffs just seven times for 152 yards. He ended the season for the Rams by being placed on the team’s Injured Reserve roster.
Calais is not big enough to withstand heavy use by either the offense or special teams. But he is an ideal size, weight, and speed to be a kick returner and punt returner. He is smallish, yes. But he is lightning fast. Speed is simply something that cannot be coached. Calais has plenty of it.
Of course, the LA Rams may want to add a deep threat receiver to the roster this year, and anyone added to stretch the defense will likely be considered for a return role as well. But the Rams already have three players on the roster who can compete and help improve the return game for 2021. The only hitch? They will need the opportunity to do so.