The Los Angeles Rams have undergone a historic calendar year since winning the Super Bowl in Feb. 2022. They lost multiple main players — Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp namely — to injury, had the worst record of any defending champion in the Super Bowl era and are now entering a rebuild.
Kupp’s injury was specifically surprising after one of the greatest seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history in 2021 and a general reliability when it comes to being available. But he only played nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery, his lowest game total since 2018.
Now, Kupp is working to be back in time for the 2023 season, as he and Stafford will still be at the helm even as the Rams look to build for 2024. Kupp spoke about how last season went for him and what his offseason has looked like thus far.
“Yeah, that’s a good question because it doesn’t feel like…you’re really, let’s just be real, this is not the timeline that we expected it to be. I was really hoping to make it so we could challenge and come back and be a part of last year still,” Kupp said. “That’s kind of the point of the surgery is to try to get back quicker and unfortunately things didn’t work out that way. The way that rehab goes, it feels like you kind of hit this point where you’re in the middle of the season, rehab starts and we’re kind of still going through it.
“Honestly, I’m feeling really good now with a lot of things that go on with having a baby, things out here with OTAs, and just in terms of how we wanted to approach that. But honestly feeling really good. But yeah, for your question, it does feel like when you get hurt, that season kind of just drags on forever. There’s never really a stopping point (when) I can leave the facility because I’m in here still rehabbing doing all that stuff, so it does get long. But man, if you love football, it doesn’t really matter.”
Having a baby is one of the main reasons he’s not out on the field consistently during OTAs, but Kupp is also still working back to be officially cleared to return.
“You know, I think that’s a good question. I’m honestly not sure,” Kupp said. “I mean, you don’t know until you’re out here doing football stuff and really putting the ankle through the stuff that you know is required to play football. You can’t simulate this stuff. So I don’t know if we’ll really know.
“I feel right now as we’ve been pushing it pretty hard, I feel really good. And so I’m itching to be out there and it’s a good place to be now where I feel like I’m asking for more and wanting to do more and feeling like you’re getting held back versus feeling like they’re pushing you to do more, you know? So we’re in a good place now where I feel like I want to get out there and play and they’re being cautious with it.”
Kupp, as one of the last remaining star pieces from the Rams Super Bowl run, is obviously a key piece for the team this season. The Rams aren’t going to rush him back and certainly want him to be 100% healthy when he eventually does make a return.
But at this point, it seems as though missing regular season time is unlikely for the superstar wide receiver.
Rams agree to terms with Tyler Johnson
One of the reinforcements brought in by the Rams this offseason is at the receiver position in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Tyler Johnson.
Johnson joins Kupp and Van Jefferson among the teams top receivers for 2023.