As soon as word leaked out that the Los Angeles Rams were signing free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., NFL pundits started repeating the stale narrative that Les Snead had gone “all in” with another blockbuster deal.
Was the addition of OBJ really another case of Snead selling out for a trip to the Super Bowl now? Was it a stroke of good luck that happened to coincide with a devastating injury? Or was it a needed replacement for a Ram unit decimated by injury and the sudden departure of DeSean Jackson?
Indeed, the Rams General Manager has history of shooting from the hip to upgrade the team. His roster movements are well documented here at Turf Show Times.
And yes, standing on its own, bringing in Beckham to add a veteran presence to a WR unit that had, at the time, three of five members with less than two years experience and less than 50 total NFL receptions was a heady move.
But then came the devastating revelation that Robert Woods had torn his ACL and was ruled out for the season. It was one twist in a strange turn of events.
It started with Woods having been active in practice all week and not being mentioned on any injury reports, including Friday’s list. According to multiple reports, he went down on jet sweep but was able to return to action. The injury was discovered well after the conclusion of practice.
Another strange turn was, last week, Woods sat out two practices and was limited to side work in a third. The official designations were ambiguously described as a foot problem on Wednesday and an ankle on Thursday.
Then the Rams put in an unsuccessful waiver claim on Josh Reynolds before the Beckham signing.
There was a near reunion in LA, as the Rams attempted to claim WR Josh Reynolds off of waivers, per source. LA has dealt with some recent pass catcher injuries that has their depth a bit thinned out.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 11, 2021
Reynolds landed in Detroit who had higher in the waiver order.
And finally, it seems out of sequence that when the Rams officially signed Beckham on Friday morning, they did not report a transaction to make room for him on the roster. The team had their full compliment of 53 players as of Thursday.
So the question has to be asked, was Robert Woods’ injury last week worse than it seemed?
Woods has been an iron man for the Rams, missing only only three starts due to to injury size joining the team in 2017. But as a Buffalo Bill, he had at least three separate foot and ankle injuries and hip/lower back troubles.
According to an article in the International Journal of Exercise Science:
“Ankle and knee injuries are two of the most common injuries. It has been shown that ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability thereby affecting the function of the ankle. Since the lower extremity is a kinetic chain, anything that affects the ankle is thought to affect the knee and hip as well. Changes in lower extremity function associated with chronic ankle instability may predispose patients for non-contact ACL injuries ... The inability to dissipate energy throughout the kinetic chain associated with chronic ankle instability (22) could increase the rate of non-contact ACL injuries.”
“Common risk factors that predispose athletes to non-contact knee injuries are: change of direction combined with deceleration, landing from a jump in knee extension, pivoting in knee extension with a planted foot, and knee hyperextension and hyperflexion (1). 70% of ACL injuries do not result from direct contact.”
These movements are perfect examples of an NFL wide receivers daily actions.
Woods knee may have been simply a case of bad luck, the result of nine straight games on artificial turf, a compilation of past injuries, or some combination of all three.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. After all the moves, attempted moves, twist and turns, the LA WR unit is in the same position they were last Tuesday, having two vets and three youngsters.
Ram fans should not be surprised if Les Snead makes another “all in” move.