Receiver Van Jefferson’s status for the September 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills is in doubt as he recovers from knee surgery, so Atwell’s development is paramount for that game and beyond.
Atwell, a second-round draft pick last year, had a disappointing rookie season that ended with shoulder surgery.
After working closely with Kupp during the offseason, Atwell displayed during training camp the speed and ball-tracking ability that McVay and general manager Les Snead trumpeted after surprisingly picking tiny Atwell high in the draft.
While training at UC Irvine, Atwell played a game or two on deep routes every practice. He also seemed to be gaining confidence as a kick returner.
“They brought me here for a reason, and that was to take the shirt off and do whatever it takes against special teams,” Atwell said. “If my number is called, I have to show them that they can count on me.”
McVay said Atwell has matured since last year. Now he has to show that he can perform in games.
“It’s one thing to do it in practice, it’s another thing to do it in situations that really count,” McVay said. “So, I want to see this stuff get translated further.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-08-12/rams-preseason-opener-chargers-saturday Rams and positions to watch in preseason opener vs. Chargers