Odell Beckham Jr. says he's eager to step up with Mark Andrews out of the lineup.
With Andrews sidelined following ankle surgery, Beckham (42 targets, 24 catches, 374 yards, two touchdowns) could be targeted more frequently by Lamar Jackson, particularly on third down and in the red zone.
Delivering in clutch situations is a role that Beckham is very familiar. Beckham is a five-time 1,000-yard receiver, but he said he's not judging himself by those kind of metrics anymore.
Jackson has spread the ball among various targets throughout the season, but the absence of Andrews could put more on Beckham's plate. If that's the case, Beckham is ready to eat.
"Whatever role, in any capacity, I'm ready to play it," Beckham said. "My entire career, early on might have been great for fantasy football, but when I go watch the highlights, it's third downs, it's big plays, it's plays as an effective football player. That's what I want to continue to be here, make big plays that keep the offense on the field, keep drives alive. I definitely won't mind taking a touchdown every now and then, but we have a real goal here and a big opportunity in front of us."
Sunday's game against the Chargers will be Beckham's first visit to SoFi Stadium since he played there in the Super Bowl two seasons ago and helped the Rams defeat the Bengals. Beckham had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in that game before suffering a torn ACL in the second quarter that sidelined him for the entire 2022 season.
Beckham has fond memories of playing for the Rams in 2021, after signing with them in November and helping them make their Super Bowl push. He's looking forward to returning to a familiar place under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football and hopes to have another memorable experience.
"It's just certain places that have a home feeling for you," Beckham said. "When I land in Arizona it's a place that I live. LA's a place that I've lived. You just feel good. It won't be 72 and sunny when we get there tonight, but it's a beautiful place, a lot of great memories that I've had there. Just looking forward to it."
Ronnie Stanley Is Thankful He Avoided a More Serious Injury
It was a frightening moment for left tackle Ronnie Stanley in Week 10 against the Browns, when he went down in pain with a knee injury and was pounding the turf in pain.
Stanley knows what it's like to have his career seriously interrupted, after his long road back from a 2020 ankle injury that forced him to miss nine games that season, and all but one game in 2021 when he required additional surgery.
However, Stanley returned to practice this week after missing "Thursday Night Football" against the Bengals, and he's grateful to be back so quickly.
"It felt good getting back out there, get moving, being around the guys again," Stanley said.
"I was fortunate and blessed to have nothing serious come out of that. … I've been down the other road before, so I'm definitely looking at the positive. Yeah, I'm expecting to play (Sunday night)."
Stanley's performance protecting Jackson's blindside from Chargers edge rusher Khalil Mack (11 sacks) will be a key to the game.
"[Mack is] a high-powered individual, very good bull rusher, very good all-around rusher, still has speed," Stanley said. "So you've got to be on your A-game."
Chargers' Strip Sacks Have Gotten John Harbaugh's Attention
The Chargers are tied for the NFL lead with nine fumble recoveries, and their ability to create strip sacks is a big part of their formula. Even though Pro Bowl edge rusher Joey Bosa (foot) won't be in the lineup Sunday night, Jackson's ball security in the pocket could be tested by the Chargers' other pass rushers.
Jackson has 10 fumbles this season (six lost), but hasn't put the ball on the ground the past two weeks.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said there has been a focus on that during the week.
"The Chargers have a ton of fumble recoveries," Harbaugh said. "They're leading the league in turnover margin. That's something they do exceptionally well on both sides of the ball, strip sacks being the main part of that. They're No. 1 in the league at that. We've emphasized that, we've built our protections accordingly, and we've got to be very conscious of that."