Rams’ WR Jackson seeks trade, new opportunity

  • Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
  • Previously covered the Falcons
  • Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams and DeSean Jackson have reached an apparent crossroads only seven games into the veteran receiver’s time in Los Angeles.

Coach Sean McVay said Friday that the team has agreed to allow Jackson to look into trade options and that Jackson will not play Sunday against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

“I think what it boils down to is opportunities that I think he’s deserving of and the situation and some of the circumstances that surround him,” McVay said.

The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 2.

In need of a deep-threat receiver, the Rams signed Jackson to a one-year, $4.5 million contract that included $2.75 million guaranteed, over the offseason. Jackson’s decision to sign with the Rams reunited him with McVay, who was among Jackson’s coaches with the Washington Football Team, and it also served as a homecoming for the Los Angeles native who expressed an eagerness to win a Super Bowl in his hometown.

But the 14-year pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection has been used sparingly in the offense through the Rams’ 6-1 start, catching eight passes for 221 yards and a touchdown.

Following a Week 2 win over the Indianapolis Colts, McVay vowed a way to get Jackson, 34, more involved after he played only three snaps and was not targeted.

The following week in a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson caught three passes for 120 yards and scored on his lone touchdown reception of the season — a 75-yard strike from quarterback Matthew Stafford that was capped with McVay sprinting down the sideline to celebrate with Jackson.

McVay said Jackson’s potential departure would not leave a hole in the offense.

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“No. I don’t think so,” McVay said. “I think he’s a tremendous player who has a great track record and resume and I think that all the circumstances surrounding that that want to be able to be open-minded. This hasn’t exactly been probably what he envisioned, and I think he deserves an opportunity to see if there’s better options for out there for him.”

When asked if Jackson would be welcome to remain on the team if another option is not found, McVay did not have an answer.

“I’ll have more information on that moving forward,” he said.

Receiver Cooper Kupp leads the Rams with 56 catches for 809 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s followed by Robert Woods, who has 35 receptions for 423 yards and three touchdowns. Second-year pro Van Jefferson has caught 21 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, left tackle Andrew Whitworth will not play Sunday due to a knee injury while starting defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day is also out due to a pec injury.

Safety Jordan Fuller, cornerback Robert Rochell and cornerback Jalen Ramsey are all questionable.

McVay said Fuller and Rochell’s status would be clearer after Friday’s practice, and that he expected Ramsey to be able to play.

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