The injury to kick returner/running back Raymond Calais could not have come at a worse time. Calais is one of the smaller microburst running backs on the team. He only stands 5-foot-8 and weighs in at 188 pounds. While not a large enough rusher to handle the workload, his smaller size is ideal to carve out a niche role for himself in much the same way that a player like Darren Sproles had done.
Los Angeles Rams
Unfortunately, he injured his foot in such a manner as to require an estimated four to six months recovery time. That’s as long as most if not all for the entire 2021 NFL season. While this will be a huge setback for Calais’s career, it also neatly derails the strides made by the Rams by assigning the kick return duties to the second-year player.
Why was he waived now?
The roster limit of 80 is due on August 24, 2021. With even the most optimistic diagnosis for his recovery from foot surgery on or around Christmas Day, the likelihood for the young man to return to the team this year started at remote and went down from there. The team did not attach a ‘no recall’ category to his release, suggest that the Rams are likely placing him on injured reserve if and after he clears NFL waivers.
What does this mean for the LA Rams?
There are a number of subsequent actions that this move prompts from the LA Rams. First and foremost, the LA Rams season running back roster is down to bare bones with Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, and Otis Anderson Jr. The Rams will also need to reassign the primary kick return duties as well. Otis Anderson Jr. handled the kick return duties for the Rams in the Raiders game, and actually did not do all that bad. But the Rams will definitely be scanning the waiver wire for another running back, ideally for a 220+ pound player who can move the pile and soften up more physical defenses.