Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua has been a history-maker through the first seven games of his NFL career. He emerged as the Rams No. 1 wide receiver option when superstar Cooper Kupp missed the first four weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury, and his production has not slowed down much since Kupp returned to the lineup in Week 5.
Nacua tallied eight catches for 154 yards in the Rams’ Week 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, nine yards off of the career high he set in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts. This brought him to 752 receiving yards on the season. That’s not only the highest rookie total, but the third-highest total in the NFL right now behind only Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown.
It is also a piece of rookie history, as Nacua joined Cincinnati Bengals superstar Ja’Marr Chase with a rookie record for receiving production through seven NFL games, via SportsCenter:
Elite company 🤝
Puka Nacua joined Ja'Marr Chase as the only players in NFL history with 700+ rec. yards through their first 7 games 🔥 pic.twitter.com/eH7ffDiY2J
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 22, 2023
Chase had a historic rookie season that saw him finish with 1,455 receiving yards, still his highest career total in his third NFL season. And through seven games, he had only two more total yards than Nacua has for the Rams through seven games.
It speaks to the unprecedented nature of what Nacua has done this season. Chase was expected to be an immediate game-changer when he was take No. 5 overall by the Bengals in 2021. Whereas Nacua, a fifth-round selection, had some hype but could never have been expected to take over the Rams offense in this way.
When training camp began, it was not even clear who would be the No. 2 receiver in the depth chart. Now, Nacua has cemented himself as both a clear No. 2 behind Kupp and a quality No. 1 when it’s needed by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Rams bringing in new kicker
After the Rams officially parted ways with kicker Brett Maher after a difficult performance against the Steelers in Week 7, they signed a new kicker — Lucas Havrisik — off of the Cleveland Browns practice squad.
The kicking woes make the loss of Matt Gay look even more significant as the former Ram signed a four-year deal with the Colts that made him one of the highest-paid kickers in the league. Hopefully Havirsik is an improvement over Maher, but that remains to be seen.