The Los Angeles Rams announced they placed wide receiver Cooper Kupp (hamstring) and tight end Hunter Long (thigh) on injured reserve. They also signed linebacker Troy Reeder to the 53-man roster and elevated kicker Brett Maher and quarterback Brett Rypien from the practice squad for the Week 1 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Reeder is back with the Rams, where he spent the 2019-21 seasons and is familiar with the scheme on defense. He will also likely play a big role on special teams.
Kupp injured his hamstring during a training camp practice that forced him to miss a couple of weeks. He was able to return for joint practices against the Denver Broncos but later suffered a setback with the injury.
The star wideout was sent to see a specialist in Minnesota to determine the cause of the issue, and Sean McVay hinted that the move to IR was a possibility.
Meanwhile, backup quarterback Stetson Bennett had been bothered by the shoulder for a few weeks and the Rams determined that it would be best for him to rest. As of now it’s unclear how much time he will miss, but Rypien was elevated from the practice squad to serve as Matthew Stafford’s backup in Week 1.
Long came to Los Angeles as part of the Jalen Ramsey trade that sent the star defensive back to the Miami Dolphins. Long was placed on the physically unable to perform list earlier this summer and now lands on IR as he continues to work his way back from his thigh injury.
Without Kupp for the foreseeable future, Van Jefferson is slated to step in as the number one receiver, with Puka Nacua, Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell and Demarcus Robinson worked in to share the offensive burden.
The offense already losing pieces this early in the season is far from ideal as the Rams were already dealing with a lack of depth at most positions. Kupp is the biggest loss as he is the one true proven wideout, while the quarterback and tight end positions would take a massive hit as well if Stafford and Higbee go down.
Even though Los Angeles wasn’t expected to compete, this only complicates matters further as they could struggle more than originally anticipated. For now, the team and its fans have to hope that all three players return sooner rather than later.
Van Jefferson, Puka Nacua, Ben Skowronek, & Tutu Atwell discuss stepping up in Kupp’s absence
With the Rams missing Kupp for multiple games, the other receivers will need to step up in his absence. Each one of them discussed what Kupp means to the team and how they’ll need to adjust without their leader on the field.