THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Tutu Atwell's 2021 season did not go completely according to plan.
The Rams wide receiver had two goals for his rookie year, one of which was to be the starting punt returner. He got a shot at it, tallying 10 for 54 yards – also five kickoff returns for 87 yards – before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against the Texans in Week 8 that required surgery.
"Season got cut short, (but) everything happens for a reason man and God knows what he was doing," Atwell told theRams.com after Thursday's organized team activity (OTA) session. "So just gonna go from there."
Part of that post-injury process included arriving at the team's facility earlier this offseason to work with Kupp on his own prior to the start of OTAs. Atwell said he wanted to "make it feel like home," and also he knew he would be surrounded by supportive teammates. To that end, he also said Kupp took him under his wing when he was there.
"I'm excited about seeing him out here in OTAs and training camp," Kupp after last Monday's OTA session. "We're seeing some other stuff come to life because he's been working very hard to rehab, but also just building himself up and studying the playbook – all the stuff that he needs to do to make sure when he steps on the field to just play his game."
Beyond spending that time at the facility, Atwell has also been working with the strength and nutrition staff to build muscle, while also maintaining his weight.
"It's not really about the weight, (it's) pretty much just where I'm at my best," Atwell said. "How I'm going to perform better, how I'm going to do what I'm at to make plays, be stronger, take them hits and block them bigger guys. We just working in that phase."
If that early offseason facility arrival wasn't enough evidence, Atwell also remained committed by not going home this offseason so that he can stay in town and get in the work he needed to rehab-wise.
He's already seeing benefits.
"I feel a little stronger and faster now, and I'm just building," Atwell said. "Keep building."