Jojo Natson, the Rams’ leading punt/kick returner has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury. He will be out for at least 4-6 weeks. The Rams might be wise to put him on IR, given how late into the season we are. With Natson out, who will the Los Angeles Rams sign or promote to replace him?
Michael Thomas, WR
Michael Thomas actually got some playing time when both Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks were out of the Rams lineup. Plus he has been used at kick returner in the past. Thomas doesn’t necessarily fit the “returner” build at 6-foot 1-inch tall and 190 pounds, but he can really run. At his pro-day at Mizzou in 2016, Thomas ran a 4.4-4.5 forty yard dash. He is surprisingly quick for a guy his size. As one of the most productive collegiate receivers coming out of the draft (71 catches, 1,391 in 2015) maybe Thomas can finally carve out a real role with the Rams.
Darrell Henderson, RB
If the Rams decide to move rookie running back Darrell Henderson to KR/PR it might be one of my favorite things to happen this season. When Henderson got early-season snaps he made his mistakes, but he also looked electric off of his first step: something returners can use to their advantage. In the 2019 NFL Combine, Henderson ran a 4.49 forty. His speed with the ball looks even faster than that. Standing at 5-foot 8-inches, Henderson is a bowling ball full of energy that could spark some big plays into the Rams’ special teams unit.
Nsimba Webster, WR
Nsimba Webster might be the perfect guy to plug-and-play guy at the returner spot. A preseason favorite and a semi-speedy runner (4.62 fastest forty), Nsimba has a set of solid hands, catching 15 of 17 passes for 150 yards in the preseason. Nsimba is on the roster for dirt cheap and getting him some run after a productive preseason should be in the cards for the Rams.
Dont’e Deayon, CB
The 5-foot 9-inch, 159-pound corner Dont’e Deayon could be another candidate for the simple fact that he is fast. Deayon ran a 4.42 forty yard dash at his pro-day in 2016. It marked him as one of the fastest members of the secondary and even on the entire roster. Don’t expect Deayon to get selected put if the Rams hold an in-practice “try-out” he could really impress.
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