The Los Angeles Rams will be without star receiver Cooper Kupp for at least the next month.
Coach Sean McVay announced Tuesday that Kupp will undergo surgery on his injured ankle Wednesday and will be placed on injured reserve.
McVay added that Kupp would have tightrope surgery on the ankle. The coach wouldn’t declare the reigning triple-crown winner out for the season but being placed on IR knocks Kupp out for at least four weeks.
“It’s significant,” McVay told reporters Tuesday. “But what we got to be able to do is say, alright let’s put our heads together, lets figure out who we’re playing with, you know, what do those guys do well?
“How do we make sure that the plan is in alignment with that and continue to try to just really pour into these guys and develop them and help them play to the best of their ability with an enjoyment and you know, seeing if you can put them in positions to enjoy the odds to be able to make some plays and go compete as well as they possibly can.”
The reality of the 3-6 Rams situation could mean Kupp is put on ice for the rest of the season. The tightrope surgery, meant to stabilize the ankle, usually comes with a 4-6 week recovery. By that point, the reigning Super Bowl champ’s season might be kaput.
With Kupp out at least the next four games — against the Saints, Chiefs, Seahawks, and Raiders — the Rams’ passing attack loses its only consistent weapon. Kupp leads L.A. with 812 yards on 75 catches and six touchdowns. Tyler Higbee is the next closest on the Rams, with 44 grabs for 385 yards.
Kupp’s absence will thrust Allen Robinson, who has struggled in L.A., into a prominent role. The veteran has 29 catches for 292 yards and two TDs this season. Van Jefferson, who has played in just three games due to injury, and Ben Skowronek will also see increased targets.
“That’s really where we’re at with this,” said McVay. “Obviously you never, ever replace a player like Cooper Kupp, but we’ve got to figure out the best way to extenuate the skillset of the guys that will be playing. It’s a lot of guys that we’ll be continuing to learn about because until you play these types of games, you don’t really know. That’s part of what is enjoyable about the challenge and the journey ad trying to be able to pour into these guys a good as we possibly can as coaches and see if we can get them to play to the best of their abilities.”
Losing Kupp is the latest blow to a Rams offense that has been woeful much of the season, scoring 20 points or fewer in six of its past seven games and earning more than 24 points just once all season.
Kupp’s injury isn’t the only bad news for L.A. The offensive line continues to be riddled by injury. McVay announced offensive lineman Alaric Jackson is out for the season while dealing with blood clots, and guard Chandler Brewer is going on IR with an MCL sprain.
McVay also noted that quarterback Matthew Stafford remains in concussion protocol after missing Sunday’s game. The coach added they should have more clarity on the QBs situation later today.
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