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After injury to Robert Woods, Rams turn to Sammy Watkins, other receivers

By in Press Enterprise on November 23, 2017

By Rich Hammond

THOUSAND OAKS — Rams quarterback Jared Goff needs a new best friend, and fast.

Goff had developed a strong and effective rapport with receiver Robert Woods, particularly over the previous five games, but now Woods is out for at least the next two games with a shoulder injury. The Rams have several options to fill Woods’ spot, but none is more important than Sammy Watkins.

It’s fair to say Watkins has been a disappointment to date. Acquired from Buffalo during training camp as a speedy deep-ball threat, Watkins has totaled only 408 yards in 10 games, has only two catches longer than 30 yards and ranks fourth on the team in receptions (24) and receiving yards.

“I don’t think he needs to do anything different than what he’s been doing,” Goff said after Wednesday’s practice at Cal Lutheran. “He’s been doing a great job, practicing hard and he’s really been good in games. We need to find some ways to get him the ball a little bit more, and that’s something we’ll definitely be conscious of.”

In recent weeks, Coach Sean McVay had expressed a desire to get Watkins more involved in the offense, but Watkins totaled only six catches (on nine targets) in the Rams’ last three games.

Things must change now, because the Rams will be without Woods, who increasingly became Goff’s top target this season and who accounted for more than one-quarter of the Rams’ 2,656 receiving yards.

Woods, signed by the Rams as a free agent in March after four seasons in Buffalo, started slow this season and totaled only 17 of the Rams’ 126 catches (13.5 percent) in their first five games.

In the last five games, though, Woods totaled 30 of the Rams’ 96 completions (31.3 percent). Two weeks ago against Houston, Woods caught eight passes for a career-high 171 yards […]    

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