Rams receiver Robert Woods out for multiple weeks, but not for the season

The Los Angeles Rams will be without their best wide receiver for at least a couple weeks. 

Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters on Monday that Robert Woods suffered a shoulder injury during their loss to the Vikings and that Woods is "probably going to be out a couple weeks," per ESPN.com. McVay stated that the Rams feared it could have been a season-ending injury, "but I think we got good, positive news back on that."

If you missed the fact that Woods even had an injury on Sunday, you might not be alone. He injured his shoulder on the final play before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, and there was no stoppage of play to remove him from the game. He just grimaced a bit as he went to the sideline and then did not return to the field in a game where L.A. was down by two scores. 

McVay noted that Woods' absence is a huge loss (he leads the team with 47 catches and 703 receiving yards, and is tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns) and that the team will have to make up for his being out with a committee approach. 

"Clearly from a production standpoint the last couple of weeks, you're losing a significant player," McVay said. "But I think what he represents, week in and week out, just by the way that he goes about his business, as well. He contributes; he plays like a complete receiver -- underneath, intermediate, down the field. That's a significant loss for us. But there are guys that we do have confidence to step up and fill that void."

Watkins and slot man Cooper Kupp will likely both see an uptick in snaps and targets, while Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas, and Josh Reynolds could see increased work as well. 

Austin has been been a pure hybrid player this season, running 52 pass routes, handling 36 carries, and blocking on 52 snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He has just seven catches on 12 targets this season. McVay noted that his role will now be more of a combination of working out of the backfield and lining up as a traditional receiver. 

Woods seems like to miss at least the Rams' games against the Saints and Cardinals, but the "couple weeks" timeline means he could return in time for important matchups with the Eagles and Seahawks. The Rams surely need him healthy and could use him for their playoff push, but it's more important for them that once he comes back, he's back for good. They may play things safe and opt to hold him out an extra week or two to make sure he's healed. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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