The Los Angeles Rams may be short-handed at the wide receiver spot when they open the regular season against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.
Head coach Sean McVay told reporters wide receiver Van Jefferson will undergo knee surgery Tuesday. Jefferson will be sidelined for multiple weeks, and his status is up in the air for that potential Super Bowl preview against Buffalo.
This comes after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the University of Florida product was set to see a specialist because of "a knee issue that has been plaguing him."
Albert Breer of The MMQB reported "Jefferson's knee issues were a reason the Rams brought in Allen Robinson in March," so this likely doesn't come as a significant surprise for the defending champions.
There is also the Odell Beckham Jr. situation, as the three-time Pro Bowler remains a free agent after helping lead Los Angeles to a Super Bowl title. He suffered a torn ACL in that victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, although re-signing him could help the Rams answer some questions about long-term depth if the Jefferson issue lingers.
"Very clearly, the door's open for Beckham to come back, with the hope that his most recent ACL surgery will bring a more positive result than the last one did," Breer wrote.
Most teams in the league would love a one-two punch of Cooper Kupp and Robinson at the wide receiver position, but Jefferson's setback and the uncertainty surrounding Beckham means there will remain question marks about the No. 3 spot on the depth chart.
Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell and Brandon Powell are all candidates to see more playing time in the meantime.
Jefferson remains a breakout candidate this season if he returns to health. He is someone who can take advantage of the double-teams Kupp and Robinson may draw and is coming off an impressive 2021 campaign that saw him tally 50 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns.
The 26-year-old is a deep-ball threat and figures to remain a key part of the Rams offense, especially if he is healthier following this procedure.