The bye week came at the perfect time for a beat-up Los Angeles Rams team. The Rams have been missing several key rotation players due to injury, but following their bye they will finally get some reinforcements.
Chief among them is Van Jefferson, who has yet to play in the 2022 season due to two offseason knee procedures.
Head coach Sean McVay talked about Jefferson and explained what he missed most from the receiver, via Skyler Carlin of USA Today:
“I just think it’s the overall productivity. Obviously, he brings the big play element, but I think Van’s a complete receiver. I think he showed that with the way that he was progressing, really throughout last year, but then especially where he was at in relation to just his performance in training camp,” McVay said. “Camp is camp, but it’s still playing football. So to be able to get him back, guy with a lot of experience, a lot of ownership of our offense, the ability to play in a bunch of different spots. I think he’s a compliment to some of the guys that we already have in the mix. But you’re getting a big-time playmaker back who can do a lot of different things for us. (I) love Van and really glad to be able to have him back in the mix for us.”
The big-play, vertical element has been sorely missing from Los Angeles’ offense, so Jefferson will be a big boost in that regard. Aside from his ability to stretch the field though, Jefferson provides another reliable option in the passing game for Matthew Stafford who so far has leaned too heavily on Cooper Kupp.
Against the San Francisco 49ers, McVay will need to challenge them more downfield and that’s right in Jefferson’s wheelhouse. While he’s expected to be eased in in his first game of the season, Jefferson should give the offense an injection of playmaking.