Will LA Rams regret giving 2nd year WR Tutu Atwell a preseason pass?

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /

When the LA Rams entered their 2022 offseason training program, there was widespread that second-year wide receiver Tutu Atwell would be gone, or at least far down on the depth chart, by the time the preseason chapter of the season arrived. But here we are, and for all intents and purposes, the Rams roster is all but certainly going to show Atwell among the 53 players who survived roster cuts.

The Rams do not play starters or key rotational players in preseason games. Call it a safety feature of the team, but if a player projects to have a significant role with the team in the regular season, they are all but out of the rotation when it comes to preseason play.

Right now, with the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Van Jefferson, the Rams are a bit protective of Atwell and Skowronek, two players who stand to see more work if Jefferson is unable to go for the team.

Untested Tutu Atwell graduates to Rams roster spot

Unfortunately, that benches Tutu Atwell as a time where he could really seize an opportunity to secure a roster spot and answer the most basic of football questions: Can he handle the physicality of the game?

For now, it appears that the Rams coaches are satisfied that casual play and training camp scripted plays are enough to ensure that Atwell can perform on NFL Game Day. While I get it, I’m not convinced that is a strategy that I would take. After all, are there remaining questions over the durability and physicality of Tutu Atwell? So far, the Rams’ practices have had limited physical contact. Atwell, more than any player on the Rams roster, must satisfy the team’s need to know that he can get up and play well after a tough tackle.

He cannot do so if he remains on the bench.

I suppose it’s important to see how well Atwell can perform in a preseason game now that we’ve witnessed how comfortable UDFA Lance McCutcheon is in a physical setting. I would be deeply disappointed if the Rams do not retain a physical WR like McCutcheon, only to learn that the receivers who the team did keep are unable to play well when tackled.

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