Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin underwent wrist surgery Thursday, a procedure that will sideline him for organized team activities but should have him ready for the start of training camp.
Austin’s surgery was an arthroscopic procedure to repair ligament damage on his left wrist.
Austin, the eighth overall pick out of West Virginia in 2013, gained a career-high 907 yards from scrimmage in 2015, then signed a four-year, $42 million extension a couple of weeks before the start of the 2016 season. But Austin’s production dipped to 668 yards from scrimmage in 2016, and now there is some uncertainty about how he will fit into an offense that is being steered by rookie head coach Sean McVay.
Austin will join new addition Robert Woods, signed to a five-year, $34 million contract, as a primary target for second-year quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams have previously used Austin, 5-foot-8 with elite speed, as something of a gimmick receiver, carrying the ball 116 times and catching 75 passes behind the line of scrimmage during the past three years.
The Rams would now like Austin to establish himself as more of a downfield threat, perhaps similar to what DeSean Jackson did for McVay in Washington.
This could be an important year for Austin. His cap hit goes from nearly $15 million to $8 million in 2018, and the Rams have drafted seven wide receivers and tight ends in the past two years – Pharoh Cooper, Tyler Higbee, Mike Thomas, Temarrick Hemingway, Gerald Everett, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds.
Rams OTAs start May 23 and training camp will begin around late July.