Rams receiver Robert Woods out for season with torn ACL

Receiver Robert Woods, one of the key components for a Rams team making moves for a Super Bowl run, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for the rest of the season, coach Sean McVay said Saturday.

“You’re sick for Robert,” McVay said before practice. “He’s epitomized everything that’s been right about this place. Such a great competitor, such a tough player … it’s so unfortunate.”

Woods injured his knee during practice on Friday, the same day that new star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. arrived at the Rams’ facility.

“He’s just running something on air, puts his foot in the ground weird, and he kind of came back and said that he felt OK,” McVay said of Woods.

A scan later revealed the injury, McVay said.

Beckham was expected to practice with the Rams for the first time Saturday. His status for Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium is still to be determined, according to McVay.

“There’s a chance,” McVay said when asked if Beckham would be ready to play. “We’re going to see. You can see he’s a really sharp guy. … We’ll see how he’s feeling, and we’ll see what that looks like as far as how we are able to utilize him if he’s ready to go on Monday.”

Yet replacing Woods will be difficult.

Woods, 29, has been instrumental in the Rams’ success since signing with the team as a free agent in 2017.

Woods, an All-American at USC who played his first four NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills, produced more than 1,100 yards receiving in 2018 and 2019. Early last season, the Rams signed him to a four-year extension that included $32 million in guarantees.

This season, he has 45 catches for 556 yards and four touchdowns.

Woods’ value extends beyond his pass-catching ability. He is regarded as one of the league’s best blockers, matching up against larger linebackers and defensive linemen.

“You don’t ever replace a player like him,” McVay said. “But it’ll certainly require a lot of guys to play better and really carry the torch because of everything that you miss without him.”

Woods’ injury leaves the Rams with a receiving group of Beckham, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, J.J. Koski and rookie Ben Skowronek.

The loss of Woods is reminiscent of 2018, when Kupp suffered a season-ending knee injury that prevented him from being part of the Rams’ run to Super Bowl LIII.

Beckham suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2020 while playing for the Cleveland Browns.

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