The Los Angeles Rams have officially waived kick returner/punt returner JoJo Natson, per the NFL’s transaction page.
Natson was signed by the Rams prior to the 2018 campaign and he eventually took over return duties in place of an injured Pharaoh Cooper. Although he ended the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury, he played well enough to maintain his position in the 2019 NFL season.
Natson finished the season averaging 7.8 yards on punts and 22.2 yards on kickoffs with 438 total return yards. Unfortunately, his year was limited to 12 games after he once again found himself on injured reserve with a hamstring injury this time around.
As a result, it is safe to assume that concerns about Natson’s durability may have attributed to the Rams’ decision to part ways with him. He will now have a chance to get an early start on testing the waters of free agency for another shot in the 2020 NFL season.
Los Angeles will have a busy offseason ahead of them if they hope to avoid too much turnover to their roster. While most of the attention has been fixated on both sides of the ball, the special teams will also be a point of emphasis in Los Angeles.
Natson was not the only player in this group that was preparing to hit the market this offseason with kicker Greg Zuerlein also set to become a free agent. Zuerlein has also dealt with his fair share of injuries in recent years and all the talk about his uncertain future indicates that the Rams are making health a priority for their special teams.
Natson’s departure already leaves new special teams coordinator John Bonamego with a rather notable void to fill in his personnel. It remains to be seen whether or not he will have to find yet another replacement to help round out this group.