AUGUST 1: McVay said Jefferson will undergo knee surgery Tuesday, though the sixth-year Rams HC described the procedure as minor and indicated the timetable here will be a few weeks, via CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones (on Twitter). McVay stopped short of guaranteeing Jefferson would be ready for the regular season, however.
JULY 31: Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson will see a knee specialist on Monday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). The third-year pro missed practice on Saturday, and in speaking with reporters after practice, head coach Sean McVay did not explicitly say whether Jefferson’s absence was related to his knee.
“We’re figuring that out right now, working through that,” McVay said (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, citing Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times). “I’ll have more information for you later — like I said, I don’t have anything right now.”
Those comments don’t shed much light on the matter, but Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic says that the coach was clearly concerned about his big-play wideout (Twitter link). McVay is not scheduled to speak with the media today, so we are unlikely to have additional information until Monday at the earliest.
Jefferson played through a knee injury late in the 2021 regular season and throughout the Rams’ postseason run to a Super Bowl title. As Rodrigue notes (via Twitter), Jefferson underwent a knee procedure in the spring, though he appeared to be in good health when training camp opened and was moving well. Per Rapoport, Jefferson could miss a few weeks, and another surgery is on the table.
The Rams selected Jefferson in the second round of the 2020 draft, and he played a key role in the club’s offensive success in 2021. Despite the knee problems, he started all 17 regular season contests, compiling 50 catches for 802 yards (good for a terrific 16.0 yards-per-reception rate) and six TDs. He also started all four postseason games, adding nine more catches for 102 yards.
Los Angeles has an enviable WR corps, with Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, and Jefferson as the top three players on the depth chart. The team invests heavily at the position, and if Jefferson is forced to miss time, the Rams have 2021 draftees Tutu Atwell, Jacob Harris, and Ben Skowronek waiting in the wings. An Odell Beckham reunion has consistently been rumored as a possibility, but OBJ may be unable to suit up until November, so the Jefferson situation will not necessarily impact the team’s decision to re-sign Beckham.
In better health-related news for Los Angeles, quarterback Matthew Stafford sounded mostly positive when asked how his arm is feeling after the first week of training camp. The 34-year-old passer did not throw during spring work because of a right elbow injury, but he has been throwing in camp.
“It’s coming along,” Stafford told reporters on Saturday (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “I’m kind of right where I want to be and just continue to get it feeling better. Get it stronger. You just lose those reps through the offseason and [I’m] trying to gain some of those reps back at the moment.”