Sammy Watkins donned a fresh Rams T-shirt and smiled as he walked up the Coliseum tunnel Saturday, but the Rams’ new receiver couldn’t hide the surprise he felt to be there.
“Just a total shock,” Watkins said about the trade that brought him to Los Angeles from the Buffalo Bills. “But I am definitely excited and honored to be here.”
Less than 48 hours earlier, Watkins caught four passes, three in the first three plays, in a Bills preseason game. Shortly after, he was informed that he was traded.
“I just thought I was catching hot,” Watkins said. “I mean they was targeting me pretty quick and then after the game I was like ‘Oh, I probably was out there auditioning.’”
Rams coach Sean McVay expects Watkins, 6 feet 1 and 211 pounds, to provide a much-needed vertical threat for second-year quarterback Jared Goff. General manager Les Snead said acquiring a receiver with size and speed was on the agenda since last spring.
Two hours before the Rams and Dallas Cowboys kicked off in a preseason game, Watkins had yet to meet with McVay and was unsure how he would fit in the offense, but said he was familiar with the Washington Redskins’ offense, where McVay spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator, and that he was certain he could be a deep target.
“I just feel like that’s in my game,” Watkins said. “I can be that home run guy.”
Fans cheered Watkins when he was shown on the videoboard standing on the sideline during the fourth quarter.
Watkins, 24, has 153 career receptions for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns. He averages 16.1 yards per catch.
But he also has an injury-riddled history that caused the Bills to decline the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Snead said the Rams “felt comfortable” with the risk.
Last season, because of a foot injury, Watkins was limited to eight games. He caught 28 passes, two for touchdowns.
Watkins said Saturday…