The 2023 regular season hasn’t even begun yet, but the Los Angeles Rams have already suffered a loss. Earlier this week, head coach Sean McVay announced that star wide receiver Cooper Kupp would miss their season opener in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks because of a hamstring injury.
A mid-week out designation is never a good thing, as it hints at a long-term injury issue. McVay didn’t quell any worries with an update provided on Friday, as he said there is a definite possibility that the Rams place Kupp on the injured reserve.
“[We’re] trying to continue to get a grasp on exactly what it is so that he can get back to feeling like the Cooper that we know and love,” McVay said. “And hopefully we’ll do that.”
Kupp originally injured his hamstring on August 1st, missing the entire preseason. He was ramping up activity last week when he suffered a setback in his recovery. That prompted a visit to a specialist in Minnesota earlier this week to assess what was wrong.
Per the Rams head coach, Kupp’s injury hasn’t followed “the standard protocol for when you’re reaggravating a soft tissue injury.” That is why he visited a specialist to see if they could get to the root of the problem.
Playing without Kupp is a major blow to the Rams’ offense. He is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, as he completed the wide receiver triple crown in 2021. Kupp finished first in receptions, yardage and touchdowns that season.
Without him in the lineup, there may not be a weaker group of pass catchers in the league. Van Jefferson is now stepping into the No. 1 receiver role followed by Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua. Veteran Demarcus Robinson could find his way into the lineup as well, along with special teamer Ben Skowronek.
Along with Kupp, rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett and tight end Hunter Long are injured reserve candidates because of a right shoulder and thigh injury, respectively. The Rams have until Saturday to make a final decision.