Don’t celebrate landing Puka Nacua on the waiver wire just yet.
The Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver made a surprise appearance on the injury report Thursday, with a “did not participate” designation due to an oblique injury. The Rams are scheduled to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Nacua burst onto the scene Thursday with 10 receptions for 119 yards in his NFL debut, tying Tutu Atwell for the team lead in yards after All-Pro wideout Cooper Kupp started the season on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.
With Kupp not eligible to return until at least Week 5 and the Rams’ passing game looking strong against the Seattle Seahawks, Nacua was one of the most popular waiver wire pick-ups in fantasy football this week. He went from 7% rostered in Yahoo Sports leagues to 75% after just that game.
The Rams selected Nacua in the fifth round, 177th overall, in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 22-year-old started his college football career at Washington before transferring to BYU and finding success in Provo, posting 48 receptions, 625 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns his senior year.
Nacua loomed as a sleeper for the Rams after impressing in training camp and getting a big opportunity with Kupp out, but now his health might interrupt a potential breakout. At the very least, fans are going to want to pay attention to the injury report Friday and in the lead-up to that late-afternoon game Sunday.