Rams No. 3 receiver Van Jefferson needs second surgery on knee

Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson will have left knee surgery Tuesday, which “blows his availability for the Sept. 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills,” coach Sean McVay said Monday.

“We’ll see how the operation goes and have a better feeling,” McVay said, adding, “This gives us an opportunity to evaluate these other recipients.”

Jefferson underwent surgery on the same knee after the Rams won Super Bowl LVI. But McVay said the “minor knee correction” of the current situation requires “minor surgery” and is unrelated.

“He responded very well to that,” McVay said of the first surgery. “So it’s the same knee, but it’s a slightly different area. And it’s a little thing we can clean up.

“So we’re encouraged.”

Jefferson’s absence plunges one of the NFL’s potentially strongest receiving corps into a series of question marks as the Rams prepare for the Bills, considered Super Bowl contenders.

Reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and new signing Allen Robinson offer two elite targets for McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

But Jefferson’s loss could cut deep.

The third-year pro caught 50 passes last season, six for touchdowns. He also displayed deep play skills, averaging 16 yards per catch.

Sophomores Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell are set to replace Jefferson.

Skowronek, a seventh-round draft pick, caught 11 passes for 133 yards last season. He can play numerous receiver positions and also excels on special teams.

Atwell, a second-round pick, is trying to bounce back from a disappointing rookie season. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Atwell seemed overwhelmed and failed to find a receiver role. He returned kicks for eight games until suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

During the offseason, Atwell took advice from Kupp and worked closely with the All-Pro to improve and gain strength. He made several plays on Mondays.

McVay also continues to openly court free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to re-sign with the Rams.

Last season, Beckham signed with the Rams after the trade deadline and helped them get their Super Bowl up and running. He sustained a knee injury in the second quarter of the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals and is currently recovering from surgery.

Beckham is not expected to be ready to play until mid-season.

But after listing recipients on the list who could benefit from an increased opportunity, McVay couldn’t help but add a rejoinder.

“And then we’ll continue to see if we can continue to calculate when Odell will come back at some point,” he said.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-08-01/rams-no-3-receiver-van-jefferson-second-surgery-left-knee Rams No. 3 receiver Van Jefferson needs second surgery on knee

Emma Bowman

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