Sony Michel approached Sean McVay about returning kicks

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The Los Angeles Rams have been direly searching for someone to bring some consistency on special teams when it comes to the return game. We’ve seen Jake Funk, Ben Skowronek, J.J. Koski, Tutu Atwell, and even Cooper Kupp return kicks for the Rams to no avail.

During Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Rams elected to deploy Sony Michel at kick returner for the first time this season. While it appeared to be another desperate attempt to try someone new, McVay shared that Michel approached the coaching staff about potentially aiding the special teams unit.

“He had expressed some interest in doing it. We don’t have a lot of guys that are experienced in that role. He is a tough, physical, downhill runner that’s fearless to be able to hit it up in there. I think that takes some courageousness and some guts with the types of collisions,” McVay said. “I think there was some positives and definitely some things that we can learn from, but what I do trust is he’s such a conscientious guy. He’s going to be able to learn from the things that he can do better. And I did think he was able to level off some of those returns nicely, but that’s what went into that.”

Michel returned four kicks for 90 yards against the Packers for an average of 22.5 yards per return. Even though that number isn’t overly impressive, 22.5 yards per return leads the team this season.

Injuries at the running back and wide receiver positions didn’t do the Rams any favors whenever they set out their plan on special teams this season. Different guys have been used to return kicks every week and none of them have proven to be a long-term solution.

But with Michel seeing a minimal role on offense with Darrell Henderson deservedly getting a workhorse role, Los Angeles can afford to use him on special teams. After having some success returning kicks this past week, we could very well see more of Michel at kick returner in Week 13 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.