The Los Angeles Rams have officially ruled out wide receiver Cooper Kupp for their Week 1 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, according to head coach Sean McVay. The 2021 Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP suffered a hamstring-related injury early in training camp and despite making an effort to return late last month, had a setback that resulted in seeing a specialist this week. The Rams will now play without their top receiver and offensive weapon against the Seahawks, meaning that quarterback Matthew Stafford will have to rely on a new favorite target to start his third season with L.A..
Cooper Kupp will not play against Seahawks, McVay said.— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) September 6, 2023
McVay also said that Kupp going on injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least four games, is a possibility. Kupp missed eight games in 2022 and also missed half of the season and playoffs in 2018 because of injuries.
Sean McVay said there's a possibility that the Rams put Cooper Kupp on IR.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) September 6, 2023
The loss of Kupp for the opening of the season means that former second round pick Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell, free agent Demarcus Robinson, and fifth round rookie Puka Nacua will have larger roles than anticipated at the start of camp. Kupp has more career catches and yards than the rest of L.A.’s receiving corps combined.
The next-most experienced player is Robinson, a receiver who spent his career playing with Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson but has yet to be a consistent presence as an offensive threat. That could lead to more chances for Atwell, perhaps the one player in the group who has some experience (unlike Nacua) but also might have a better ceiling than Jefferson, who has yet to prove that he can take advantage of bigger opportunities in the offense.
This should also lead to more targets for Tyler Higbee and maybe Ben Skowronek.