Austin (wrist) is slated to be ready for training camp, Myles Simmons of the Rams' official site reports.
Austin underwent wrist surgery in early May, but that hasn't stopped him from putting in work during minicamp. The wideout has been running routes and catching tennis balls on the sidelines but he's itching to get back onto the field without restrictions. "I still run routes - I'm getting my routes in with the boys when I try to watch them towards the end of [of the field]," Austin said. "So it's definitely frustrating, just because I don't know what happened to my wrist in the first place." There are plenty of questions surrounding the role Austin will play in new head coach Sean McVay's offense, but those questions will be sidelined until the 26-year-old returns. "I think we have ideas of the way we want to utilize him," McVay noted. "I think he's done a lot of great things on tape, but until you're actually able to get out on the grass with him, watch him do some of the things that we're asking him to do, it does make it a little bit more difficult." Austin will look to build upon his 2016 numbers -- 668 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns -- as the speedster continues to emerge as a deep-ball threat.
Rams offensive coordinator Matt LeFleur wants to take advantage of Austin's (wrist) speed as a downfield threat in 2017, Myles Simmons of the team's official site reports. "When you look at what Washington was able to do and what Atlanta was able to do and the explosive plays, it all starts with having speed at that receiver position, which is something he possesses," McVay explained. "I know last year in Atlanta, they used Taylor Gabriel [downfield] and he's not the tallest guy, but he could get open and he was electric with the ball in his hands. So hopefully we can get Tavon going the same way."
Austin was primarily used as a gadget player under the Rams' previous regime, as evidenced by his 116 carries the past two seasons not to mention the 75 receptions he caught from behind the line of scrimmage. McVay, however, hails from a system in Washington that rarely relied upon gimmick plays. Rather, he called plays that allowed the diminutive DeSean Jackson to flourish as one of the league's premier field-stretching wideouts. Austin (5-8, 176) profiles similarly to Jackson (5-10, 175) and certainly makes sense to be utilized in a similar fashion. While such a role would almost guarantee fewer carries -- and potentially fewer touches -- for Austin in 2017, the former first-round receiver would likely have a great shot to set a career high in receiving yardage. It's worth noting that in the two years under McVay in which Jackson played at least 15 games, Jackson averaged 56 receptions for 1087 yards and five touchdowns.
Austin underwent surgery on his left wrist this week but is expected to be ready for training camp, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports.
The Rams' top wideout will miss OTAs as he addresses a minor wrist issue. Austin has been a bright spot over the past few seasons in an otherwise lackluster receiving corps. Last season, he recorded a career-high 58 receptions for 509 yards and three touchdowns. Look for more updates on his status to come as training camp nears.
After scoring nine touchdowns in 2015, the writing was on the wall for a letdown from Austin this year. He didn't do enough with his 19 extra targets to make up for the expected negative touchdown regression, and he rushed 24 fewer times and for 275 fewer yards than last season. Austin's game-breaking ability -- and hefty salary -- should ensure he's a piece of the puzzle again in 2017, but without a significant step forward from the entire offense, his fantasy ceiling will remain low.
Austin caught just two of seven targets for 14 yards but rushed three times for 26 yards and a touchdown during Saturday's loss to the 49ers.
The score was Austin's fourth of the season and his first of the rushing variety. It also highlights a significant decline from his nine-touchdown showing in 2015. Austin is rarely targeted downfield, and while he owns game-breaking potential, the pedestrian Los Angeles offense significantly limits his fantasy upside. The Rams have struggled to create opportunities for Austin to succeed in space because their offensive personnel doesn't present many man-to-man mismatches.
|P2||8/19/17||@ OAK||10:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ GB||7:00 pm|
|3||9/21/17||@ SF||8:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ JAC||4:05 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/5/17||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|