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Random Ramsdom: Rams preparing to start season without Cooper Kupp

The 2021 Offensive Player of the Year had a ‘setback’ recently and needs to see a specialist

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

L.A. Rams receiver Cooper Kupp is seeing a “hamstring specialist” so that the team can try to learn more about his recent setback and ongoing issue that could lead to the star receiving missing regular season games. That includes Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, of course. Kupp has now had injuries during most of his career NFL seasons, including eight games missed in 2022 and tightrope surgery this offseason.

In the most recent episode of The GM Shuffle podcast, former NFL GM Michael Lombardi said with regards to Kupp’s trip to the doctor, “I never have heard of anybody going to see a hamstring specialist. To me, there’s something else here. Could it be his lower back?”

“I’m not saying that it’s not plausible, I’m just saying I’ve never seen a guy having to go—they’ve had to do it with feet and ankles, but I’ve never seen it done with a (hamstring). You’ve got to be concerned about it.”

Kupp had 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021, then averaged 90 yards per game with 75 catches over nine starts in 2022. The vast majority of the Rams offense flows through Cooper Kupp, so Matthew Stafford will have a challenge this season if he is without his top receiver but that is what the team is preparing to do in Week 1.

Injury Update: Rams Prepared to Operate without Cooper Kupp

There’s no question things get easier for the Rams if Kupp is out there ... but in McVay’s mind, there’s also no question that his team is well-prepared even without the former Triple Crown winner, as they received live experience last season and spent much of training camp in the same position.

“We’re more ready for it coming off that,” McVay said. “We’re not going to get caught up in things that are outside of our control. I’m not doing that. We’re not going to do it. We’re going to control the things that we can control and we’re going to really operate in the present and do the best we can to prepare.”

McVay added that he feels badly for Kupp, first and foremost, and empathizes with his situation. Life certainly gets easier for all parties if the 2017 third-round pick is able to take the field in Seattle.

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All right, Mr. Jones. Seahawks general manager John Schneider spent a lot of money on you thinking you could be a transformative player for the defensive line. Sure, you need to stop the run, but you need to chase down quarterbacks at an even higher clip than you have done in the past. But stopping the run might need to be your focus in Week 1.

Rams coach Sean McVay is no idiot, of course. He knows how to exploit any weaknesses in a defense, even if his offense doesn’t have as many weapons as it has in previous seasons. Plus, there is a good chance that receiver Cooper Kupp doesn’t play in Week 1. This will be a diminished Rams offense that can still probably do one thing well: Run the ball.

Rams legend Eddie Meador dead at 86 — 6-time Pro Bowler starred in 1960s

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of an NFL great, Eddie Meador, who was a standout leader for our organization and the Los Angeles community throughout his entire 12-year career,” the Rams said in a statement.

“He was an instinctive and fearless competitor who captained some of the greatest defenses in NFL history. Eddie’s ability to galvanize teammates made him a heartbeat of the Rams and his humility made him approachable to everyone. The Meador family and friends are at the core of our thoughts, and his legacy will live on forever.”

USA TODAY Sports Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

Rams waive CB Shaun Jolly with injury designation

This move opens up a roster spot for Los Angeles, which could allow the Rams to sign someone like Keir Thomas from the practice squad to the active roster. But at the time of this move, the Rams did not announce a corresponding move.