The Los Angeles Rams had their fair share of troubles amongst the offense during the first half of the season. While Case Keenum was given the starting job, the unit around him was unable to produce fluid results. Tavon Austin and the receiving core were still adjusting to Keenum, while not always seeming in sync.
Now that No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff has stepped into the starting role, it only means that the receiving core has to completely adjust their timing for the rookie quarterback. After failing to post any passing touchdowns in his first career start, Goff made immediate improvements in his second start.
Against the New Orleans Saints, he threw three first-half touchdowns. The results were certainly something to build off of, but it seems as though he may be without a key weapon on Sunday against the New England Patriots.
According to Greg Beacham of the Associated Press, Austin has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s contest:
Rams WR Tavon Austin is listed as doubtful to play at New England on Sunday. Hasn't practiced all week with a chest injury.
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) December 2, 2016
When a player is unable to practice all week, it is a sure sign that he shouldn’t be able to suit up on Sunday. Unless the Rams were playing it cautiously with Austin, it doesn’t look like he will be able to matchup against the Patriots’ Malcolm Butler.
Alongside Austin, defensive end Robert Quinn (concussion) and center Tim Barnes (foot) remain questionable for Week 13.
With Goff down a key weapon, it seems as though the Patriots will alter their game plan to stack the box against Todd Gurley more so than before. While Kenny Britt and Brian Quick provide outside receivers that can do some damage, Goff needs a security blanket in the middle of the field.
It remains to be seen if Lance Kendricks or possibly Gurley will step up into the passing scheme, but the Rams will definitely miss the electric Austin if he is unable to suit up on Sunday.