Puka Nacua plays the wide receiver position as physically as anyone in the NFL. It’s actually caused the Rams to talk about how to limit the shots he takes because they’d like to keep him healthy all season.
On Sunday, he suffered yet another injury, landing hard on his right side after going up to make a 20-yard catch in the first half. He was lying still on the ground for a little while as trainers tended to him, but he eventually got up and walked gingerly to the locker room.
It looked like his day was done, but miraculously, Nacua emerged from the locker room after halftime and rejoined the team on the field. Sean McVay says nothing surprises him anymore when it comes to Nacua’s toughness, but even he seemed amazed that the rookie got back in the game.
“It was his shoulder and his rib. I mean, what an unbelievable catch he makes on the sideline. I thought he was dead and then he comes back to life,” he said, eliciting a laugh from the reporters in the room.
“Can I say that anymore? I don’t know what I can say,” McVay continued. “But he is such a tough competitor. The way he battles through things, the physicality at which he plays this game. He brings an energy to our team that I think you can all feel when you watch. It’s why he’s so fun as a competitor, whether he’s got the ball, whether he doesn’t have the ball.”
Nacua finished the day with four catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, as well as two carries for 34 yards. He had a 45-yard run called back because of a holding penalty, too, so he could’ve put up even bigger numbers if not for that call on Demarcus Robinson.
The Rams will check Nacua out this week as they prepare to face the Ravens, and he was spotted in the locker room with a wrap on his shoulder after the game, but Puka is as tough as they come.
There seemingly isn’t an injury that can keep him down.