Atwell wasn't targeted on his two offensive snaps and didn't play on special teams during Sunday's 34-14 win over Chicago. It was a quiet debut for the rookie, and it's particularly telling that he wasn't utilized in a kick- or punt-returning role. Atwell projects to establish a specialty role in the offense over the course of the season because of his elite speed and game-breaking potential in space. However, it's clear he's not being rushed into action. The Rams have four capable receivers ahead of him on the depth chart, including proven speedster DeSean Jackson.
Atwell recorded eight receptions on 12 targets for 62 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Broncos. Atwell has been absent from large portions of training camp, first as a result of being on the reserve/COVID-19 list. More recently, he was sidelined by a back issue. However, neither impacted his ability to rack up plenty of targets in the preseason finale. Atwell made the majority of his catches around the line of scrimmage, contrasting with his expected usage based on his 4.44 40-yard speed. His longest reception of the day went for 16 yards, though that was his only double-digit gain of the day. In addition to his duties as a wide receiver, Atwell served as the Rams' punt returner. Although his roster spot is secure, it's unlikely that Atwell will see a lot of targets to begin the regular season in a Week 1 matchup against Chicago.
Atwell secured two of four targets for 21 yards and returned a punt for no gain in the Rams' 13-6 preseason loss to the Chargers on Saturday night. The rookie snared a co-team-high 20-yard reception and tied with several players for third in catches on the night. Atwell is an intriguing but slight speedster that the Rams thought highly enough of to invest a second-round pick in last April, and he'll look to make an impact as a likely No. 5 receiver and special-teams asset this season.
The Rams reinstated Atwell from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports. The rookie second-round pick, who was placed on the list July 26, will now look to get back into the mix and carve out a role in a Los Angeles receiving corps that also includes Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson and Van Jefferson. Atwell's speed is undeniable, but at 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, he's extremely slight for the receiver position and may struggle to make a splash as a rookie.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|10||11/15||@San Francisco 49ers||16||23.60|
|12||11/28||@Green Bay Packers||9||21.33|
|18||01/09||San Francisco 49ers||16||23.60|
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|3 Year Avg||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0|