It wasn't exactly the kind of performance the Rams' offense was looking for against the Chargers in the club's 21-19 loss. After a slow start that included two turnovers, the offense needed 35 minutes to come up with its first touchdown. But the comeback came up just short.
And though it wasn't an ideal display from the projected starters, rookie wide receiver Josh Reynolds had another impressive game.
Reynolds was targeted six times on Saturday night, recording three catches for 71 yards — an average of 23.7 yards per catch. The receiver also scored the Rams' only touchdown of the night, hauling in a 38-yard strike from quarterback Sean Mannion to beat cornerback Randall Evans in a one-on-one matchup deep downfield.
"Earlier in the game, he tried a couple of attempts, tried getting it to me," Reynolds said of the touchdown pass. "I just kind of assured him like, 'Hey, let's keep trying to take that shot.' Then coach called the play and Sean took the shot, threw a great ball and I was able to haul it in."
But it wasn't just the touchdown play that stood out. Reynolds also showcased his impressive hands, somehow managing to hold onto the football after a vicious hit from Chargers' safety Dexter McCoil. After coming down hard on field — with four officials flagging the play — the receiver popped right back up and headed back to the line of scrimmage, ready for the next play.
"Just got to shake it off, go to the next play. [Wide receivers] coach Eric Yarber always talks about the pop-up game, so hopefully I got the best pop-up game so far," Reynolds said with a laugh.
Reynolds then finished the night out with a beautiful grab on 3rd-and-2 for a 17-yard gain and the first down. Though the Rams have a lot of depth at wide receiver, head coach Sean McVay said Reynolds' presence "was certainly felt tonight."
"I think there was a couple of plays at the end of the first half that he'd like to have back. But, to Josh's credit, he came back, he made a great catch on the crossing route, held onto the football and then he comes back and responds by finishing [the touchdown drive] up with a great route," McVay said.
After recording the game-winning touchdown in last week's win over the Raiders, and another standout showing tonight, expect the young receiver to continue making impact plays.
"It was great ball by Sean Mannion with those two connecting again on a big play again that almost ended up being the difference in us winning and losing that football game," McVay said. "I thought it showed a lot from Josh in terms of his toughness — both mentally and physically — with a couple of those plays."