The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been able to find a steady return man for kicks and punts this season.
Prior to the team's Week 13 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Rams elevated Brandon Powell from the practice squad in an effort to use him as the deep man on kicks.
Powell jumpstarted things into gear rather quickly, taking the opening kickoff 65 yards into Jaguars' territory for adequate field position on the Rams' first offensive series. Powell finished the game with two kick returns, totaling 81 yards and one punt return in which it ended in a fair catch.
Powell provided a spark on special teams – something the Rams haven’t had much of this season. In doing so, McVay had high praise for the special teams' returner, who just may have earned himself a spot for the long haul.
"It was awesome to see Brandon Powell be able to start the game off with a big kick return," McVay said Sunday following the Rams' 37-7 win over the Jaguars. "I thought that was big from special teams."
The Rams have used a total of 11 kick returners this season, signaling the need for stability at the position. In reflecting back on what Powell brought to the table against the Jaguars, McVay said Monday that he wants Powell to continue to return kicks.
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“You know what? He did a great job, so yes, we want to continue to have him return those kicks," McVay said Monday on a conference call with reporters. "I thought it was a really well-blocked return and I thought he did a great job being decisive and getting vertical. Terrell (Burgess) was outstanding on that play. I was really pleased with the effort from him to be able to make a key block at the point of attack and then be able to go get out in front and get another one. And then, I thought Brandon did a great job being able to set it up."
Powell returned 17 kicks last season during his stint with the Atlanta Falcons in which he averaged 20 yards per attempt.
While McVay sees Powell as a solution at kick returner, he said Monday that he hasn’t decided whether or not to keep flexing him up from the practice squad ahead of game days or add him to the active roster.
"You do have some more flexibility than previous years with the ability to flex a guy from your practice squad up twice," McVay said. "That's still an option as is putting him on the active roster. All of those are things that we kind of work through really after I get through this meeting with you guys for the most part.”
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