Rams' rookie Puka Nacua overwhelmed by more praise from impressed LeBron James

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Some congratulatory messages just carry more weight, especially when Lakers superstar LeBron James sends them.

After Puka Nacua established a Rams rookie receiving record in last Sunday’s victory over the Cleveland Browns, James offered his congratulations in a post to X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I’m a huge LeBron fan, so stuff like that definitely doesn’t go over my head,” Nacua said Wednesday. “I said in a group chat … if my girlfriend wasn’t my screensaver then LeBron posting would be.”

It wasn’t the first time James mentioned Nacua on social media.

Earlier this season,James referred to Nacua as Puka Doncic, an ode to Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Nacua arrived at the next game wearing a James jersey.

Against the Browns, Nacua scored on a 70-yard touchdown pass play in the first quarter, and then suffered a right-shoulder sprain after making a sideline catch in the second quarter. He was escorted off the field by trainers, but returned in the second half and finished with four catches for 105 yards, and also 31 yards rushing.

The Rams play the Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.

On Wednesday, the Rams had a closed jog-through, rather than practice. Nacua was listed as limited.

“I don’t know what the hell that means,” coach Sean McVay said, “because he just did everything.”

Is Nacua feeling fine? Or is he trying to get to that point by Sunday?

“I’ll be feeling a lot better on that day, specifically,” Nacua said, adding, “One day at a time, still.”

Nacua, a fifth-round draft pick, ranks 11th in the NFL with 77 catches. His 1,029 yards receiving ranks seventh.

Becoming a 1,000-yard receiver as a rookie was not on his radar when he joined the Rams for offseason workouts.

“No, definitely not,” Nacua said. “Some of the first things was just trying to make sure I could do our duo blocks. … To think that that’s where we are now, it’s been a long journey, and all the people who have helped me along the way I’m extremely grateful for.”

Nacua plays with an extremely physical style. The shoulder sprain is the latest injury he has played through.

“The game of football, I wish it could be injury free, it would make it a thousand times more fun,” he said chuckling. “It definitely has been a sense of pride.”

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