The scare the Rams experienced when Cooper Kupp
left a Tuesday night practice early with a hamstring injury over a month ago has finally come to fruition. After announcing that he wouldn’t be available for Week 1 and threatening a stint on injured reserve, Los Angeles has officially made the move, guaranteeing that the former All-Pro receiver will miss at least four games, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Kupp’s recovery and comeback from last year’s ankle surgery hit a snag when he was forced to leave a night practice in early August before the rest of the team. He made the decision to visit a specialist in Minnesota a week ago in an attempt to gather more information about his injury. At that point, it was becoming clear that Kupp likely wasn’t going to be ready for a Week 1 return.
That prediction became a reality when head coach Sean McVay confirmed that Kupp would not be available for the team’s season opener and explored the possibility of Kupp heading to IR. Kupp’s season-ending ankle surgery last year forced him to sit out the last eight games of the 2022 season. Unfortunately, the 30-year-old wideout is set to extend that streak of missed games for at least another four weeks.
The Rams are going to have an interesting situation on their hands contractually if Kupp is forced to miss much more time. Kupp is only two years removed from winning Offensive Player of the Year after completing the receiving triple crown by leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, but Kupp’s financial impact is set to hit much harder soon. Over the next three seasons, Kupp is due to hold cap hits of $29.78M in 2024, $29.78M in 2025, and $27.33M in 2026. He’ll be 33 years old in that final year.
If Kupp has trouble getting back to the field soon, the Rams might need to start exploring options to preserve cap space. Whether that involves a restructured contract or Kupp in a different uniform is subject to speculation, but his extended absence is not making things easy for Los Angeles.