LA Rams Van Jefferson knee surgery and the uncertainty that follows

The LA Rams know all about adversity. This is a team that faced a barrage of injuries to running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs, and outside linebackers last year. It was so bad that the team needed to rely upon additional players: RB Sony Michel, OLB Von Miller, and WR Odell Beckham Jr., to reinforce the roster and make a hugely successful playoff run that resulted in winning nine of the team’s last ten games.

Including all four postseason games.

But that’s not really the way the team wanted to get there. Hanging on by a thread, finishing the game as the needle on the gas tank sank to the E for empty.  The Rams were down to TE Brycen Hopkins and WR Ben Skowronek as two of their four receivers on the field in the second half of Super Bowl LVI.

It was Hopkins first passing targets all season.

Still, the Rams emerged victorious. But at what cost? A number of Super Bowl starters ended the season by appearing in the victory parade and then scheduling surgery to fix problems that they has to play through at some point in the season. WR Van Jefferson was one such player.

Uncertainty returns

And that is where the uncertainty arises. Jefferson was medically cleared to return to football competition. But somewhere along the way, his body decided otherwise. He missed practice, and then the reports emerged that he would see a knee specialist. Now? He is scheduled to undergo surgery and his availability for the September 8, 2022, season opener against the Buffalo Bills is now in question.

If that was the only incident so far, the matter would be minor. It still may not warrant concern, but it is one more offensive skill player who has fallen to injury. The LA Rams had already placed WR Warren Jackson and RB Kyren Williams on the Physically Unable to Perform list. And the team elected to release young running back Xavier Jones earlier as well.

You may argue that none of those players were guaranteed a roster spot, but Kyren Williams is a rookie rusher who the Rams traded up in the draft to select.  The current timetable for Williams is projecting his return in time to compete during preseason games.  The current timetable for Jefferson is projecting him to return near the start of the regular season.

There is no current timetable for Rams’ 6-foot-6 wide receiver Warren Jackson. He was injured in February 2022 and has been unable to suit up for the teams yet. It’s early. Injuries are minor. But the team has two wide receivers and two running backs dinged up already.

Let’s hope this isn’t Deja Vu all over again.