On the morning of Tuesday, November 15, the NFL’s 2021 leader in every wide receiving category and the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 56 will need surgery for his high ankle sprain he suffered in the 27-17 defeat against the Arizona Cardinals. Kupp was seen clutching his leg in agony late in the Sunday, November 13 home loss in Inglewood.
Per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday morning, Kupp will be required surgery and must go on injured reserve — unfortunately joining a long list of Rams on that list including left tackles Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson, the latter joining Tuesday. McVay also confirmed the Kupp injury via a Zoom conference with reporters on Tuesday.
Kupp, though, broke his silence about his setback on Tuesday afternoon.
Kupp Sends Thanks, Has Trust in Process
Kupp normally takes to Twitter after Rams games. But this time, he took to the social media site to share his first words since leaving the Cards game and since the injury.
“Thanks to everyone who has reached out and sent prayers! This is unfortunately just part of the game. Appreciate having a trusted medical team around me. Gonna get this thing fixed, then get back to work to get back to work!” Kupp posted.
From there, Kupp began to receive some well wishes posts.
Even former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, who dealt with his own history of ailments including a pedal ankle dislocation in September 2014, sent his encouragement to Kupp.
“Praying for a full recovery,” the ESPN commentator sent to Kupp with the praying hands emoji.
Kupp was leading the Rams once again in all three major receiving categories. One of his best highlights from what’s now a truncated 2022 season was this one-handed grab and run against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5:
He also added a rushing touchdown on this WR end around against the Cardinals back in Week 3:
But now, the Rams must find ways to operate without the primary focal point of the offense for the next four games and possibly, the rest of the 2022 season.
Who is Made for Kupp Role & Who the Rams Can Add if Free Agency Comes Calling
When the Rams snatched Allen Robinson during free agency, the original idea among Ram fans and media was that “A-Rob” would become the No. 2 opposite of Kupp.
But given Robinson’s past history of being a No. 1 WR with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, Robinson may now get placed in a situation where the targets increase once and for all. Robinson is third on the Rams with 47 targets, plus has 29 catches for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns.
However, Robinson is in a WR room with a more experienced veteran of the McVay offense plus someone coming back from his knee injury in Van Jefferson. The 2020 second rounder caught his first TD pass of 2022 late against the Cardinals. Jefferson was given 20 and 17 offensive snaps in losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cards per Pro Football Reference. Yet, Jefferson being more healthier and already seasoned in this offense could give him a chance to emerge as the No. 1 in Kupp’s absence. Before his injury, Jefferson became an 800-yard WR as the third receiving option opposite of Kupp and former Ram Robert Woods.
There’s of course this question that will likely be asked: Will the Rams need to dive into free agency? The constant first name that has come to mind is Super Bowl 56 winner with the Rams Odell Beckham Jr. However, the Rams are looking less likely to land OBJ per a Saturday, November 12 report from Schefter.
But if not OBJ, the Green Bay Packers officially made former third rounder from the 2021 draft Amari Rodgers available soon by waiving him.
The 5-foot-9, 212-pounder from Clemson was mostly used for returns, though, and never caught anything past two receptions in a game this season.
Two more names worth mentioning if the Rams pivot to available free agents: Former NFC champion WR Mohamed Sanu and four-time Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton. The 33-yar-old Sanu was last seen with the rival San Francisco 49ers and went to the Super Bowl in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. Hilton, also 33, played his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts but parted ways with the team in August 2022.