Takeaway IV: Brandon Powell banged his knee up
We know that the LA Rams need a solid showing from the team’s special teams. That performance will certainly be put to the test this season, as the team will rely upon Pro Bowler K Matt Gay, veteran P Riley Dixon, and LS Matthew Orzech. And of course, the team will be looking once more to PR/KR Brandon Powell to spearhead the punt and kickoff returns.
Powell has been a significant contributor to the team since stepping into the spotlight for the Rams as the return specialist mid-season in 2021. Since his debut, the Rams had lost just one game, an overtime loss to the rival San Francisco 49ers.
Rams Camp: Special team silver lining
But Powell injured his knee and has been slowly working his way back.
That may serve the LA Rams well, ensuring that some players who are lower on the depth chart will get some work. He did not play in the team’s first preseason game against the LA Chargers. RB Jake Funk handled the kickoff return duties, and WR Landen Akers handled the punt return duties.
While there is no reason to expect Powell to participate in Game 2, the Rams could change the duties of those players who will be available. RB Raymond Calais enjoyed some success as a kick returner. And the Rams could send Funk in to handle punt returns, or perhaps another player as well. Powell should remain the team’s primary return specialist. But his unavailability will also allow the team a chance to add other options.