The Cooper Kupp Injury: Will The Rams Trade For Or Sign A Free Agent WR?

The Cooper Kupp injury: Updates and Next Steps

The Los Angeles Rams are 0-0 heading into Week 1 and are tied with everyone else in the win column. However, outside of the Kansas City Chiefs, the franchise has been hit with bad news as hard as anyone. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had high hopes to rebound after a tough early ending to his 2022 season but now before even setting foot on the field, the wide receiver’s year is in jeopardy. Here’s a look at what the situation is and what the Los Angeles Rams can do to adjust.

What is going on with the Cooper Kupp Injury?

Kupp went to see a specialist in Minnesota regarding his hamstring injury and Sean McVay let fans and the media know that he would know more by mid-week. Well, the bomb has been dropped that, according to Adam Schefter, the wide receiver isn’t safe from getting put on the injured reserve. This, in addition to ruling him out for Week 1, has put the offense in a difficult enormously spot.

Of course, the injured reserve isn’t the death sentence it used to be. Kupp could be back by Week 5 and, assuming the Rams are treading water at that time or better, would get an adrenaline shot to their offense. However, there are two big reasons to keep expectations in line. First, hamstring injuries can linger through an entire season. One only needs to look at Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas as an example. Second, even if he does come back, there’s a chance he won’t be 100 percent at any point this season.

With his availability teetering, the Rams need to decide whether they need to actively adjust more than their hopes for his backups. Looking at the roster, the burden falls to Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell more than anyone else to pick up the slack. To his credit, Van Jefferson earned 802 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. However, that was with a healthy Kupp taking the attention of the team. Last year, he earned less than half that in essentially nine games. Atwell earned less than 300 yards last year.

It would be great for the team to get a surprise breakout from the young players this year, but they’ve also been around long enough that their ceilings are easier to pin down than not.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
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2 options to help with Cooper Kupp’s absence. Free Agent or Trade.

With the odds of a solution coming from living on a prayer, the Rams can also take a look at free agency, where there are a couple of interesting names to look at. Jarvis Landry is still available and he’s the same age as Kupp at 30 years old. His last 1,000-yard season came in 2019, but he did earn 840 yards in 2020. It’s far from a 1:1 swap, but it could help add insurance for Jefferson and Atwell.

Kenny Golladay is also available and has a similar story with his last 1000-yard season coming in 2019. At 29, he’s a touch younger than Kupp and Landry as well.

Of course, these are not ideal options. The best thing would be to get Kupp back in the lineup at 100 percent but that simply isn’t going to happen overnight. This, of course, leaves General Manager Les Snead with the option to trade for a player. That said, without multiple weeks of fresh tape of the players in action in the regular season, the trade would be a complete gamble for a high price to get anyone substantial.

At this point, the best option is a wait-and-see approach. If the Rams can remain viable for a few weeks and also reveal whether Jefferson and Atwell will be good enough to solve the drop in production, they’ll also get enough updated tape on players around the league to potentially trade for. Put simply, it’ll be rocky waters for a few weeks, but at this point, the team only has what they currently have.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
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