Practically every Super Bowl contender has to deal with at least one major injury, and the Los Angeles Rams have a big one.
Receiver Cooper Kupp, who went down with a non-contact knee injury Sunday, has a torn ACL. An MRI confirmed the bad news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Monday. Kupp will miss the rest of the season.
While the Rams have plenty of playmakers on offense, it won’t be easy to replace what Kupp does.
Cooper Kupp is a big part of Rams offense
Kupp was a third-round pick last season and instantly became a big part of Sean McVay’s offense. He came in as a slot receiver but proved to be much more dangerous than most slot players.
Kupp’s big-play ability was an important part of the Rams offense. He averaged 14.2 yards per catch and leads the Rams with six receiving touchdowns. He caught 71.4 percent of his targets, most among Rams receivers.
We got a chance to see the Rams offense without Kupp earlier this season, and the results are concerning.
Rams have struggled without Kupp
With Kupp, the Rams have 300 yards passing in six of seven games this season. He sprained his MCL in the first half against the Denver Broncos and while he played in the second half, he was not himself. He missed the next two games. If we count Kupp as missing the Broncos game (he had no catches), the Rams played three games without Kupp and didn’t throw for 300 in any of them.
Seven games with Kupp: 340.6 passing yards per game
Three games without Kupp, including Broncos game: 216 passing yards per game
That’s a big difference and while it’s not all because of Kupp’s absence, it’s not a coincidence either.
The Rams are still one of the best teams in football and have legitimate Super Bowl dreams. But the Kupp injury makes their road tougher.
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