The Los Angeles Rams didn't let Sammy Watkins' history of foot trouble stop them from acquiring him in last Friday's trade with the Buffalo Bills, but they're looking to do what they can to try to prevent him from additional problems.
Rams General Manager Les Snead told SiriusXM NFL Radio that the team was planning to have Watkins wear shoes it hoped would at least help minimize the receiver's chances for re-injury. Watkins twice has undergone surgery to address a stress fracture in his left foot that caused him to miss most of the 2016 season.
"In this league, the shoe thing is a very big deal," Snead said. "And I think getting him in the proper shoes and there's a lot of technology, a lot of smart engineers going into developing shoes for these athletes ... the type of torques and pressures they're putting on their bones when you get out of a break.
"I can't say that (his shoes) will be special or different from Buffalo, but it is one where you do sit down with him, sit down, in our case, with Nike and try to figure out, based on the medical research, based on all the data that we have, what's the best shoe for him?"
According to Snead, the Rams began "flirting with the Bills" about a possible Watkins trade last spring, after Buffalo declined picking up the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.
"But it ended up working out for us and then we felt like that was a piece of the puzzle, a nice complement to the things we had done this offseason to try to get this offense to the next level," Snead said, adding that Watkins was joining his new team at "worst time" for him because his missed the offensive installation during OTAs and training camp.
"So I know what (coach) Sean (McVay) wants to do is get a feel for Sammy, how he's learning," Snead said. "He's been doing great so far, but I do think what they will do as we get into game plan for games is, 'Where's Sammy at? How comfortable is he? How many plays can we actually give him?'"