Return On Investment: Rams WR Powell Poised For Increased Role On Offense

The Rams return specialist may get his chance to demonstrate his prowess at receiver with Van Jefferson on injured reserve.

The Los Angeles Rams have seldom been a team with a shortage of offensive firepower.

From the St. Louis days of the ‘Greatest Show on Turf” to last season’s one-two punch of Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham, Jr, the Rams have been happy to employ pass-catchers who know how to find the end zone; especially at the receiver position.

In 2022, quarterback Matthew Stafford once again has a bevy of weapons with which to work. Along with Kupp, the Rams employ fellow wideouts Allen Robinson, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, Tutu Atwell, and Lance McCutcheon among others to round out the team’s arsenal.

However, one notable name has been missing.

Unfortunately, wideout Van Jefferson will be waiting a bit longer to make his 2022 season debut. Jefferson, who was widely expected to be a key contributor on offense, underwent knee surgery at the beginning of training camp. 

While Los Angeles hoped that he would be ready for the start of the regular season, his recovery has gone slower than expected. As such. Jefferson was placed on injured reserve before the Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

With Jefferson out at least through the team’s Week 7 Bye, Los Angeles’ depth will once again become its asset,

One such member of the Rams’ depth chart with an opportunity to seize a piece of the spotlight is Powell.

While the Florida product mostly makes his impact on special teams, his reliability and sure-handed showing thus far in 2022 might turn the head of coach Sean McVay and the Rams’ offensive brain trust. 

During Sunday’s 20-12 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the 27-year-old caught all three of his targets for 27 yards while returning four kickoffs for 74 yards. For the season, Powell is 5-for-5 with 43 receiving yards.

Despite being used sparingly on offense, Powell is quite adept at making the most of his time on the field. Last Sunday, he used his six offensive snaps to develop a budding synergy with Stanford. 

He also logged a 31-yard kick return and remains the primary return man for the Rams heading into their Week 4 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

With Kupp as the unquestioned top option, Powell has the tools to become a complementary piece to Robinson and Skowronek, who is playing well at multiple positions.

His chance to earn greater playing time on offense starts in Week 4. Should he continue trending in the right direction, the defending Super Bowl Champions may once again be dealing from a position of strength, just in time for Jefferson’s return. 

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