Tavon Austin WR STL 4 Days

Austin caught a pair of throws for 20 yards Saturday as the Rams fell to the Packers 21-7.

Austin is looking to make a big jump his second year, as he is expected to shoulder a big receiving load. He will also get an occasional look out of the backfield, but his inconsistency last year brings up some fantasy red flags.

Tavon Austin WR STL 29 Days

Tavon Austin acknowledged he struggled to learn the Rams' playbook as a rookie.

It's worth noting Austin scored a 7 on his 2013 Wonderlic test. "I didn't really know what was going on," he said. "Everything looked like Spanish and sounded like Spanish to me." Entering his second season, Austin now claims to have OC Brian Schottenheimer's system down pat. He's expected to be a sub-package weapon, playing limited snaps. Austin is a long shot for steady WR3 value.

Tavon Austin WR STL 2 Months

OC Brian Schottenheimer said he'll be moving Tavon Austin around to "a lot of different spots" this season.

"You'll see us hand him the ball, do some different things," Schotty said. "He's playing so much faster just because he knows what we're doing. He has the system down cold." Austin never found a real role as a rookie thanks to dropped passes and an inability to shake loose in small spaces. We wouldn't rule out the light flipping on in Year 2, but last year's tape was so horrifying that we're skeptical. Schottenheimer failed to scheme Austin successfully last year.

Tavon Austin WR STL 2 Months3 Comments

Tavon Austin admitted his rookie year was a "pretty big adjustment for me at first."

Tavon Austin WR STL 5 Months6 Comments

Coach Jeff Fisher said he expects the Rams to do a better job of using Tavon Austin "now that we know what he's capable of."

Tavon Austin WR STL 8 Months1 Comment

Tavon Austin's 40 catches led the Rams' receiver corps this season.

It was the fewest by the Rams' leading receiver since 1986. TE Jared Cook led the team with 51 grabs. Austin's receiver-corps leading number speaks to the troubles the Rams had at receiver despite investing four draft picks in the position over the past two years. The return of Sam Bradford will obviously help in 2014, but unless Austin or Brian Quick steps up, the Rams will likely again have one of the league's worst group of wideouts.

Tavon Austin WR STL 8 Months

Tavon Austin said he intends to "put on a couple more pounds" this offseason.

It's a non-story as a lack of strength wasn't Austin's biggest issue as a rookie. His problem was making big plays in small spaces as he tumbled down the receiving depth chart en route to just 40 catches for 418 yards and four touchdowns. Austin also ranked just 16th in yards per punt return (8.5). We're far from writing him off as he has truly unique open-field ability, but the early returns were not promising.

Tavon Austin WR STL 8 Months

Tavon Austin (ankle) is not expected to play in Sunday's Week 17 tilt against the Seahawks.

Both FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport are hearing that Austin is unlikely to suit up for the regular season finale. Austin sprained his ankle in Week 14 against the Cardinals and has missed the majority of practices since. Austin Pettis will fill in as the Rams' slot receiver again this week.

Tavon Austin WR STL 8 Months

Tavon Austin (ankle, questionable) will be a game-time decision for Week 17 against Seattle.

Coach Jeff Fisher is "optimistic" about Tavon's chances after a return to limited practice Friday. Austin was already being limited in terms of snaps on the field, and now barely practiced during the week, failing to get in any work on Wednesday or Thursday. He won't be a recommended Week 17 fantasy play.

Tavon Austin WR STL 8 Months

Tavon Austin (ankle) remained out of Thursday's practice.

Barring a surprise Friday return, the first-round rookie is going to miss his third consecutive game.