Rams begin second Super Bowl quest with receiver query

A banner commemorating the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI championship will probably be unveiled at Thursday evening’s season opener in opposition to the Buffalo Payments — not that coach Sean McVay is getting too enthusiastic about it.

“It’s great to unveil a banner,” McVay mentioned Friday, “We’ve moved on.”

McVay is clearly targeted on the sport in opposition to the Payments, one of many favorites to emerge from the AFC for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The Rams are trying to develop into the primary workforce for the reason that 2004 season to repeat as Super Bowl champion. So, McVay just isn’t spending time reflecting on final season, when the Rams accomplished an all-in, boom-or-bust season with a Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in proprietor Stan Kroenke’s gleaming, new stadium.

“I’ll always have great reverence for that team,” McVay mentioned, “but this about 2022.”

Thursday’s opener will probably be Rams’ first regular-season recreation at SoFi Stadium since February, after they have been celebrating amid confetti after defeating the Bengals, 23-20, to finish a dramatic postseason run.

The Rams are six months faraway from the victory however “it feels like it was a long time ago,” McVay mentioned.

“It’s one that I’ll always cherish,” he mentioned, “but I think if you live in the past, you’re going to get exposed in the present and so were not going to do that.”

The Rams are off Saturday after which will return Sunday to proceed preparations for the Payments, who’re led on offense by quarterback Josh Allen and might be led on protection by edge rusher Von Miller, a key participant for the Rams final season.

It seems as if all Rams starters will probably be obtainable, with the possible exception of receiver Van Jefferson.

Rams vast receiver Van Jefferson runs throughout camp in late July. It doesn’t seem he will probably be able to return from his knee harm for the season opener Thursday in opposition to Buffalo.

(Kyusung Gong / Related Press)

Jefferson, a third-year professional, had knee surgical procedure throughout coaching camp. He has labored with trainers on the sphere however didn’t take part in joint practices with the Bengals final week.

“He’s making good progress,” McVay mentioned. “We’re taking it a day at time.”

Final season Jefferson caught 50 passes for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns. He caught 4 passes for 23 yards within the Super Bowl. Jefferson had offseason knee surgical procedure and seemed to be shifting nicely through the first days of camp. However due to discomfort brought on by what McVay mentioned was an unrelated concern, Jefferson underwent surgical procedure once more.

In opposition to the Payments, quarterback Matthew Stafford will probably be passing to a receiver corps that features star Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson and, if Jefferson doesn’t play, a possible mixture of Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell and probably Brandon Powell.

As rookies final season, Skowronek and Atwell caught 11 and 0 passes respectively. Powell performed virtually solely as a kick returner. With Jefferson sidelined throughout most of camp and the entire preseason, the three receivers took many first-team reps throughout practices.

“If you said, all right, what’s been a positive spin on losing a great player in Van that we’re really relying on,” McVay mentioned, it has been the alternatives for Skowronek, Powell and Atwell “to really step up and show what they’re capable of.”

Undrafted free agent receiver Lance McCutcheon made the preliminary 53-man roster however should develop as a particular groups participant, McVay mentioned.

And so forth.

Stafford, Kupp, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, linebacker Bobby Wagner and cornerback Jalen Ramsey have been voted workforce captains, McVay mentioned. … The Rams signed linebacker Jake Gervase, who had been waived Tuesday. Gervase replaces rookie outdoors linebacker Daniel Hardy, who’s on injured reserve following ankle surgical procedure. Gervase is an skilled particular groups contributor. … Ozzy Osbourne will carry out at halftime of the opener, the Rams introduced.