The Los Angeles Rams, one year after dealing with one injury pileup after another, are already dealing with one significant ailment in the 2023 season and before their first game: Cooper Kupp with his hamstring.
Head coach Sean McVay stated to reporters on Monday, September 4 that the Super Bowl 56 Most Valuable Player has to see a specialist in Minnesota for an injury that was considered “day-to-day.” But now, this new development jeopardizes the Rams not having their prized wide receiver in the Pacific Northwest to open their season versus the Seattle Seahawks.
One Rams legend, however, offered a suggestion to his former team.
Legend Suggests This Idea to Rams
Franchise legend Jim Everett, who played in the 1990 Pro Bowl as a Ram and guided the team to the NFC title game that season, believes the Rams should take Kupp’s ailment seriously.
Everett’s suggestion? Play the long game with allowing Kupp’s hamstring to heal.
“Doubtful we’ll take chances with an aggravated hammy. Put Cooper Kupp on short term IR (injured reserve_, start the 21 day clock and see where he’s is at after time to fully (if) heal,” Everett suggested via X.
Everett added “It’s a long season…so gotta play the long game.”
This idea puts the Rams in a position where they won’t feel the need to rush Kupp back out. They can get Kupp at full strength when he is officially fully healed from his latest setback.
Kupp was among the notable injuries one year ago after injuring his ankle in the home loss to the Arizona Cardinals on November 13 — ultimately shutting down the rest of his season. Kupp was limited to only nine games with nine starts for a Rams team that went 5-12 overall.
And despite the injury, Kupp still led the team in all three major receiving categories with 75 catches, 812 yards and six touchdowns.
Analyst Believes This WR is a Breakout Candidate, Especially if Kupp Can’t go
So say Kupp isn’t in the lineup on Sunday. Who would the Rams turn to?
There’s no real shoe in for the No. 2 WR spot opposite of Kupp. Allen Robinson had that title last year but was since traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But managing editor for Rams Wire on USA Today Cameron Dasilva on Monday points to third-year pro Tutu Atwell as the guy who steps up especially if Kupp can’t go at Lumen Field.
“This has to be the year Atwell breaks out, right? After a catch-less rookie year in 2021, Atwell was much more productive in 2022, catching 18 passes for 298 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown. He’s already penciled in as the No. 3 receiver on the depth chart and now with Cooper Kupp injured, his role within the offense could be even bigger than anticipated,” Dasilva wrote.
Atwell was once drafted No. 57 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to become a burner in McVay’s offense. After putting together one of his strongest training camps of his young career, the Rams are anticipating he’ll be more than the guy who blows the top off defenses this fall.
“Atwell is expected to be more than just a deep threat this season, with Sean McVay regularly praising him for how well-rounded he’s become as a wide receiver. The Rams could use a playmaker like him on offense, especially if Kupp misses time,” Dasilva said.