The Rams wouldn't have traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks had they not felt confident in Josh Reynolds' abilities, according to head coach Sean McVay.
Consequently, McVay and Rams teammates view Reynolds as a capable replacement for Cooks and expect him to have a bigger role in the offense in 2020.
"I approach it the same way I was approaching when Brandin was there," Reynolds said on a video conference Monday. "Just get better a day at a time, trying to understand this offense more and more so ultimately I can be in a position to make plays. But it does show a lot of trust in me, so I'm glad I was able to build that trust with the team."
Indeed, the former Texas A&M standout has shown he can be a dependable target for quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams offense.
When wide receiver Cooper Kupp suffered a season-ending ACL injury in November 2018, Los Angeles looked to Reynolds as the next man up. Those new opportunities led to the best statistical season of his career: 29 receptions for 402 yards and five touchdowns.
When Cooks prematurely exited the game against the Bengals in London due to injury last season, the Rams' called Reynolds' number, finishing with three receptions for 73 yards – including a 31-yard touchdown catch.
Overall, Reynolds has not missed a regular season game through his first three years in the league, with 11 starts under his belt entering Year 4.
"Josh has played a lot of snaps and we've been out there together, gone through games together, we came in together," Kupp said on an April 9 video conference. "So we obviously get along great. Really excited about him being able to step into a bigger role and be able to be consistently out there (on the field)."
"He's a guy that we have a lot of confidence in," McVay said.
Even when he was the fourth wide receiver in the rotation behind Cooks, Kupp and Robert Woods, Reynolds was still viewed as a starter by McVay and his teammates. Reynolds admitted it was tough patiently waiting for a larger part in in the offense, but he made the most of that time.
"After that first year, I had seen the bigger picture and so it stopped being as hard," Reynolds said. "I took that time to focus on the team and myself."
That picture is now clearer: 2020 appears to be shaping up to be a big one for him.
"Josh is a guy we anticipate being a big-time part of this offense," McVay said.