Things have been a struggle for the Los Angeles Rams thus far in the 2022 season. They are currently 3-6 and heading on the road for a matchup with the New Orleans Saints in Week 11. Winning has been a tall task for the Rams, but it is going to get even tougher going forward.
The team’s offense has struggled mightily this season. Not even the brilliance of head coach Sean McVay has been able to overcome the struggles of the offensive line, which has seeped into the rest of the offense.
Los Angeles currently has the 29th-ranked offense when it comes to scoring and is 31st when it comes to yardage. They are dead last in rushing attempts and yardage, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry. That has impacted the passing offense, as opponents are pinning their ears back and relentlessly rushing Matthew Stafford.
Stafford has gotten mauled this season, being sacked 28 times in eight games and hit numerous more times. He is currently dealing with a concussion and has struggled to find a rhythm with anyone outside of Cooper Kupp. However, things are going to get uglier as Kupp is going to be sidelined for at least four games.
Kupp suffered a high ankle sprain in the game against the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend. John Wolford was targeting him with a pass and threw it high. As Kupp tried to go up for the catch, a Cardinals defender went low, injuring Kupp’s ankle in the process.
McVay didn’t have a positive update following the game and the team’s worst nightmares came true as it was revealed he suffered a dreaded high ankle sprain. He underwent surgery and was placed on IR, which means that he will miss at least four games.
That injury will effectively end the Rams’ season. Their offense was abysmal this season with Kupp in the lineup; imagine what it will look like without him as Stafford will now be relying on Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell and Tutu Atwell as his top wide receivers.
“Obviously you never ever replace a player like Cooper Kupp, but we’ve got to figure out the best way to accentuate the skill sets of the guys that will be playing,” McVay said.
Robinson has been a go-to, No. 1 receiver in his career, but he has not been able to get on the same page as Stafford this season. Normally, having a player of his caliber in a position to step up would be seen as a positive, but without Kupp, an already bad offense will get worse.
On the season, Kupp caught 75 passes for 812 yards and six touchdowns, all of which led the team. The next closest in each category is Tyler Higbee with 44 receptions and 385 yards. Robinson is second on the team with two touchdown receptions.
Given the way this season is trending, it would not be surprising if Kupp sat out longer than the mandatory four weeks he will have to sit out after being placed on IR. By the time he is eligible to return, it would not be surprising if the Rams are riding a seven-game losing streak as they are going on the road to face the Saints and Kansas City Chiefs before hosting the Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders
Already three games under .500, 2.5 out of first place in the NFC West and a half-game away from being tied for last place in the NFC, it is hard to imagine the Rams recovering and making any noise without Kupp in the lineup.