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Rams receiver Josh Reynolds 'stepped up in a big way' filling in for Cooper Kupp

Rams receiver Josh Reynolds 'stepped up in a big way' filling in for Cooper Kupp
Rams receiver Josh Reynolds dives into end zone during the third quarter for one of his two touchdowns of the game. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Josh Reynolds continued to make the most of his opportunities, catching two touchdown passes in the Rams’ 29-27 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at the Coliseum.

Reynolds, a second-year pro, started again in place of injured Cooper Kupp, who is expected to return next week against New Orleans. Reynolds caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff in the second quarter that pulled the Rams to within 10-8. In the third quarter, he caught a pass over the middle and then slipped a tackle on his way to a 19-yard touchdown that put the Rams ahead 23-13.

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Reynolds finished with three catches for 42 yards.

“Josh stepped up in a big way,” coach Sean McVay said.

Robert Woods caught five passes for 70 yards and Brandin Cooks caught three passes for 74 yards.

Woods said the Rams’ ability to run the ball in the second half enabled them to open the passing attack.

“Jared able to find open targets, open receivers and get Josh Reynolds going,” Woods said.

Special play

He was an under-the-radar signing in the offseason, lost in the flurry of star additions — Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh.

But Ramik Wilson provided another key play against the Packers.

Wilson hit Ty Montgomery on a kickoff return in the final two minutes, forcing and recovering a fumble that kept the ball out of the hands of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and helped preserve the victory.

“It was great collision,” Wilson said. “He tried to bring it. I bring it too.

“That’s football.”

Wilson’s play enabled the Rams to run out the clock, ensuring that Rodgers could not put together one of his trademark game-winning drives.

It was the not the first time the fourth-year linebacker has come through for the Rams, who signed him to a one-year, $750,000 contract after Kansas City did not re-sign him. With Mark Barron nursing an Achilles injury through training camp and the early part of the season, Wilson started four games.

Punter Johnny Hekker also performed well Sunday, putting two punts inside the five-yard line.

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His punt to the one in the second quarter enabled Barron to tackle Packers running back Aaron Jones in the end zone on the next play for a safety, the Rams’ first points after falling behind 10-0.

“We already know Johnny’s great,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “We know he’s going to do that. He’s something special.”

Hekker also completed a second-quarter pass to Sam Shields on a fake punt.

Shields played parts of seven seasons for the Packers before a series of concussions, including one suffered in the 2016 opener, caused him to sit out nearly two seasons.

The reception, which covered 12 yards for a first down, was his first.

“All week we’ve been practicing,” Shields said. “I’ve felt good all week.”

Will he lobby McVay to participate in the offense?

“No,” he said, “but whenever they need me, I’m ready.”

Challenging situation

The Rams scored their first touchdown with the help of consecutive plays that were initially ruled incomplete passes before the decisions were reversed.

McVay challenged the call on a Goff pass to Cooks near the Packers’ bench. Upon review, Cooks was credited with a 25-yard catch.

On the next play, Goff passed to running back Todd Gurley along the left sideline. Officials ruled Gurley did not have control of the ball until he was out of bounds. But upon review, Gurley was credited with a 32-yard reception.

Etc.

Middle linebacker Cory Littleton made eight tackles. He had a sack and one tackle for a loss. ... The Packers sacked Goff five times. Former UCLA lineman Kenny Clark had two sacks, former USC linebacker Clay Matthews one. Linebackers Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell also had sacks.

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