Sean McVay explains why Van Jefferson saw fewer snaps in Week 17

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After every game Rams game, it’s always interesting to take a look at the snap counts. One of the more interesting developments in Week 17 was the lack of snaps that Van Jefferson saw as he split time with Ben Skowronek at wide receiver.

With some people wondering whether Jefferson was injured, Sean McVay attempted to provide some clarity on Jefferson’s status against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

“No, he’s feeling good. It was just kind of the flow of the game, but he’s still a really important part,” McVay said. “Nothing changed and you can expect to see a lot of Van this week.”

In a pivotal road game versus the Ravens, Jefferson was on the field for only 31 offensive snaps, or 53% (both are season-lows). Just by taking a look at the snap counts, it appears that Skowronek saw a boost in his workload, garnering 47% (27) of the offensive snaps for Los Angeles (the second-most he’s seen all season).

Jefferson didn’t play at all during the final drive of the game, being replaced by Skowronek on that possession. McVay was impressed with how Skowronek performed, especially in the latter part of the game.

“He did a great job. Did some really good things without the ball. I thought he made a key clutch catch on the drive that ended up being the go-ahead TD. They were in a man coverage. He was kind of running a little stick nod route and (made a) big-time catch. He did a good job without the ball, and you could see the game’s not too big for Ben Skowronek,” McVay said. “He’s an added element, gives us some depth. Because we played in a lot of situations where we’re playing with three receivers at a time, he ends up adding a fourth receiver that can really supplement all three spots as a way of kind of giving those three starters a blow.”

Skowronek is a bigger-bodied wide receiver, so maybe McVay gave him more snaps to provide the Rams with someone who could contribute more in the run game as a blocker. Regardless of what the reasoning was for Jefferson’s decreased snap count, it may not mean much if he sees his usual role as the clear No. 3 wideout in Sunday’s vital showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.

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