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Rams can’t repeat a mistake with Cooper Kupp IR decision

Rams need to make decision soon on whether or not to place Cooper Kupp on IR

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to injuries, the Los Angeles Rams like to keep things close to the vest and remain very secretive. With Cooper Kupp’s hamstring injury, the team didn’t make it seem that bad until it was announced that the wide receiver would be going to Minnesota to see a specialist. Even still, the Rams said Kupp was seeing a “body specialist” and were taking it day-by-day.

On Wednesday, the Rams made it known that Kupp would be out Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. During his press conference, head coach Sean McVay didn’t rule out the possibility of placing Kupp on injured reserve the designation to return.

If the Rams do make the decision to place Kupp on injured, it’s a decision that they need to make sooner rather than later. They made the mistake last season of waiting on wide receiver Van Jefferson as he returned from offseason knee injury.

In Jefferson’s case, the Rams didn’t place him on injured reserve to start the season. Instead, they waited until after Week 2 to finally make that decision. Instead of being without Jefferson for just the first four weeks, the Rams didn’t get him back until Week 7. Players are required to remain on IR for at least four weeks once teams make that designation.

This is a mistake that the Rams absolutely cannot make with Kupp. Right now, Los Angeles has until Saturday to make this decision.

However, this isn’t something that the Rams can wait on. What you don’t want is to leave Kupp off of injured reserve for the first two weeks of the season like Jefferson last year. This would leave the Rame with not even having the option of activating Kupp until the middle of the season.

It’s still fair to argue that the Rams should have played it safe in the first place, much like the Cincinnati Bengals did with Joe Burrow and his calf injury. At the same time, it may have been unavoidable either way. Given that Kupp went to go see a specialist, this hamstring injury may have been a more unique case.

That’s even more reason the Rams must make the right call when it comes to putting Kupp on IR. They’re going to be walking a very fine line on needing their star wide receiver back on the field and making sure that he is fully healthy once he returns. At the end of the day, placing him on IR might be best so that Kupp can get his hamstring fully healthy.

Hopefully Kupp is able to return to the field sooner rather than later. When he does return, it’s important that the Rams don’t rush him back and make sure that he is fully healthy at that time. Kupp’s absence is an opportunity for players like Van Jefferson, TuTu Atwell, and Puka Nacua to show what they can do in the offense. With Kupp out, it will be up to one of them to step up in his place.