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Rams WR coach really ‘optimistic’ that Cooper Kupp will play this week

Rams WR coach Eric Yarber is optimistic that Cooper Kupp will play for the first time since last November

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper Kupp last played in a football game on November 13, 2022, but the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year returned to practice on Wednesday and there is optimism that he will be on the field for the L.A. Rams this coming Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Missing most of training camp and the first four games of the season due to a hamstring injury, Kupp hasn’t played since an injury last Week 10 in a game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he could be catching passes from Matthew Stafford in four days.

This latest news comes from NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, who says that he talked to Rams wide receivers coach Eric Yarber on Tuesday and that he was told there was real “optimism” that Kupp would be available and playing this Sunday against the Eagles.

By returning to practice on Wednesday, Kupp’s 21-day activation window begins and the Rams will have three weeks to bring him back from IR. It sounds like they will do so much earlier than the deadline.

The latest report said that Sean McVay wanted Kupp at least 80-90% before returning, which I think caught some fans off guard, believing that it meant that his hamstring was only 80% healed. More likely, the intention is that Kupp could be put into action with some more conditioning needed because he hasn’t played in 11 months, but it should not be a problem related to his health. Kupp has probably played in many games where he wasn’t “100%”, just as all football players do.

Just as Stafford will do, coming off of a game in which he gutted out a hip injury.

Wyche added that Kupp’s return should not impact Puka Nacua, as he’s playing more of the “Robert Woods” role than the Cooper Kupp role that many have assumed, this also according to Yarber.