The Los Angeles Rams will be without star wide receiver Cooper Kupp for their Week 1 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Kupp suffered a hamstring injury during training camp in early August. He recently had a setback with the injury last week.
Kupp traveled to Minnesota to visit a specialist to get more clarity on the root cause of the lingering hamstring issue. Rams head coach Sean McVay said there is a possibility that Kupp could be placed on injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least 4 games.
McVay called it a “unique situation” and said Kupp’s return timeline could be anywhere from a couple weeks to over a month if he goes on IR. The team wants to be cautious and not rush Kupp back before he is 100% recovered.
Impact on Rams Offense
Without Kupp, the Rams will rely more on wide receivers Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek. Tight end Tyler Higbee may also see more targets. But none can truly replace Kupp’s elite production.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford will be without his favorite and most reliable target. The Rams’ passing offense will likely take a step back, at least in the short term until Kupp returns.
The Rams will turn to their other receivers to step up in Kupp’s absence starting in Week 1 against the Seahawks. It remains to be seen exactly how long Kupp will be sidelined with the hamstring injury.
But the Rams offense will not be operating at full strength until their best offensive player is back on the field. Kupp’s injury is an early setback for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Rams Offense Downgraded Without Kupp
- Cooper Kupp is ruled out for Week 1 and could miss extended time. This is a huge blow to the Rams offense.
- Kupp was the NFL’s top receiver last year and Matthew Stafford’s favorite target. The passing offense will regress without him.
- None of the Rams’ other receivers can replicate Kupp’s elite production. Van Jefferson is now WR1 but is unproven in that role.
Lean Toward Seahawks Against Spread
- With Kupp out, the Seahawks have a clear advantage against a depleted Rams receiving corps.
- Seattle’s defense should be able to contain LA’s passing game. The Rams may struggle to keep up on the scoreboard.
- Consider betting on the Seahawks -5.5 spread. Their odds to cover improve significantly with Kupp sidelined.
Lower Projections for Rams Supporting Cast
- Other Rams pass catchers like Jefferson, Higbee and Atwell get a slight boost in targets/production but can’t make up for losing Kupp.
- Don’t overvalue Rams receivers in fantasy without Kupp commanding attention. Their overall ceiling is lowered.
Kupp’s Absence Makes Rams Risky Bet
- It’s hard to trust the Rams offense to excel without its best player. Look to fade LA until Kupp returns.
- The Rams are more vulnerable against the spread without their top offensive weapon.