The Los Angeles Rams suffered more than just a loss on their record against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10. They lost wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, to a dreaded high ankle sprain during the game. The star wide receiver underwent surgery this week and was placed on IR, so he will miss at least the next four games and potentially longer depending on how the next few weeks go for the team.
Los Angeles is currently closer to being in last place in the NFC than a playoff spot with a 3-6 record. They are currently riding a three-game losing streak and without Kupp in the lineup, it could be very difficult for the Rams to move the ball.
But, at least one encouraging piece of news coming from their practice this week is that quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to be back in the starting lineup this week. Stafford missed the game against the Arizona Cardinals last week as he was in concussion protocol, but the team is expecting him to be cleared Friday and in the lineup Sunday.
Head coach Sean McVay said that Stafford was a full participant at practice on Wednesday, a big step in the process of being cleared. Despite a clearance not coming until the end of the practice week, McVay said, “it’s not going to inhibit his ability to participate in practice, be a full participant in meetings, all that kind of stuff.”
“It’s just kind of following the necessary steps to fully be cleared,” McVay said.
Stafford played every snap of the team’s Week 9 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is where the injury occurred. He was placed in protocols on November 8th, two days after the game, as the medical staff deemed that was the appropriate move to be made.
There was no indication of Stafford suffering from concussion symptoms during the game, so the diagnosis came out of nowhere. He got in some limited action during practice last week, but since he was not cleared from protocol, he was out for the matchup against the Cardinals.
John Woolford started on Sunday in his place and produced at a similar rate to what Stafford has been this season. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 212 yards, one touchdown and one interception, fumbling twice and losing one of them. He missed practice on Wednesday with a sore neck from some of the hits that he absorbed over the weekend.
While Stafford has struggled this season, having him in the lineup gives the Rams a much better shot at winning and getting their season back on track. It will be tough sledding without Kupp in the lineup, but this is the exact kind of situation that you sign a player of Allen Robinson’s caliber in free agency for.