While there has been no firm word on Cooper Kupp’s status, exercising caution for Week 1 is the likely outcome. It’s a long season and putting him on the field early at less than 100% doesn’t help anyone. https://t.co/JpXpTrYS97— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2023
Rapoport also indicated that Kupp will travel to Minnesota to meet with a “body specialist” as he hopes to identity the root cause of his hamstring issues. The veteran initially pulled his hamstring a month ago, but then was absent from practice this week. Head coach Sean McVay agreed that it was “fair to say” Kupp had a setback with his hamstring just a week after returning to practice.
Kupp’s absence would have strong implications on the Rams offense—which seemed to be building momentum with a healthy Matthew Stafford in joint practice sessions with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. Van Jefferson, who the team has managed closely for health-related reasons, would become the primary pass catching option. Tyler Higbee would have a significant workload as usual.
But Kupp being out would also provide increased opportunities for LA’s young pass catchers in Tutu Atwell, Puka Nacua, and Ben Skowronek. Atwell has seemingly strengthened his understanding of the playbook and is ready to embrace multiple roles within the offense. Nacua has impressed from the jump as early as minicamp and offseason workouts and he continued that into training camp and the preseason. How large of a role with the former BYU product have as a rookie?
A lot of folks nationally are down on the Los Angeles Rams, but if Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers, and Aaron Donald stay healthy, I think they’ll be a helluva team to deal with.— Cody Roark (@CodyRoarkNFL) August 24, 2023
Van Jefferson, TuTu Atwell, Puka Nacua are under the radar weapons.
The Seahawks are also dealing with a rash of injuries on their own. Star safety Jamal Adams is still recovering from the quadriceps issue that ended his season prematurely a year ago and will miss the opener in Seattle. Both of the Seahawks’ first round picks are also in jeopardy of missing the Week 1 contest: corner Devon Witherspoon is unlikely to play against the Rams but the status of receiver Jaxon Smith Njigba is more uncertain currently.
Check back at Turf Show Times for regular updates as the Rams prepare to take on the Seahawks in an early-season clash against two NFC West teams.