Sean McVay told reporters on Wednesday that it’s possible the Rams will place Kupp on injured reserve because of his hamstring injury, which would sideline him for at least four games. The troubling part about this injury is the fact that three weeks after first sustaining it, he aggravated it in practice.
McVay says this wasn’t a black-and-white injury where it happens and the player recovers as expected. He said there’s “a lot of gray” with Kupp’s injury, which is why he was sent to a specialist in Minnesota.
“It wasn’t the normal thing and there’s a lot of gray behind this,” McVay said. “I’m not a doctor, so I can’t really answer anything more about that. I just know that it doesn’t follow the standard protocol for when you’re reaggravating a soft tissue injury, trying to continue to get a grasp on exactly what it is so that he can get back to feeling like the Cooper that we know and love, and hopefully we’ll do that. As far as what that plan looks like, there’s a lot of information that goes way above my head that they’ve talked about. I think there’ll be some things that from a rehab procedure approach that he’ll start to implement, but it wasn’t like there was any sort of groundbreaking information when I sat down and got a chance to speak with Cooper this morning.”
McVay isn’t expressing any level of panic with Kupp out, saying he has confidence in the receivers behind him. But there’s no replacing him or his production in the lineup. And surprisingly, McVay said this was a scenario the Rams saw as a possibility for a while, suggesting it wasn’t unexpected, so they’ve been preparing accordingly.
“You wish he was able to go, but I got a lot of confidence in the guys,” McVay said. “This is something that we probably thought was going to be the situation for a while now so this isn’t anything new to us, but rather just put it to bed, not have to continue to answer questions. We want to be able to get Cooper back when he’s ready to go and in the meantime a lot of guys have been able to get a great chance to be able to develop, establish a rapport with Matthew (Stafford) and the rest of the group and looking forward to watching these guys compete on Sunday.”
The Rams’ first four games are challenging so if Kupp does go on IR, they could be in for an 0-4 or 1-3 start against the Seahawks, 49ers, Bengals and Colts. Hopefully he can return sooner than later but given the way McVay is talking about the “gray” area with this injury, it doesn’t sound like standard operating procedure.