Just three days before their Monday night matchup with the 49ers, Los Angeles Rams receiver Robert Woods reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Cooper Kupp might be the top target for quarterback Matthew Stafford, but losing Woods is still a significant blow to the Rams offense. The team signing Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday now appears like a very fortuitous addition to the roster.
Woods’ two 1,000-yard seasons were with the Rams in 2018 and 2019 and the veteran receiver was on pace for a third this season. Through nine games, the 29-year old has caught 45 of his 69 targets for 556 yards and four touchdowns while also registering eight carries for 46 yards and another score on the ground.
Without Woods to plan for, the 49ers still have a very tough challenge ahead while dealing with their own injury woes. Several members of the club’s secondary have missed practice or have been limited leading up to the Monday night showdown with their division rivals.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle) and safety Tavon Wilson (foot) sat out of their second consecutive practice on Friday while cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (neck), Josh Norman (ride) and Jimmie Ward (quad) were all limited.
There is a possibility that cornerbacks Ambry Thomas and/or Deommodore Lenoir could join fellow rookie, safety Talanoa Hufanga on the field Monday night if needed. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has veteran Dontae Johnson available as well to defend Kupp, who already has 74 catches for 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns at the midway point of the season.
The 49ers have not been very successful defending the pass, having allowed an average of 206.5 air yards per game which is the fourth most in the league. Opposing teams have an average 68.5 percent completion rate, which is the NFL's fifth-highest through Week 9.
Beckham has only registered 17 catches on 34 targets through six games with the Cleveland Browns but the three-time Pro Bowl receiver is primed for a breakout game with his new team.