Rams' Cooper Kupp Dealing with Swelling from Ankle Injury, Expected to Play vs. Bucs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 31, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams during a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay expects wide receiver Cooper Kupp to suit up for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McVay told reporters Monday the 2021 All-Pro has some tissue swelling in his right ankle but no structural damage, so he avoided the worst-case scenario.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported earlier Kupp suffered an ankle sprain and was likely day-to-day.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rams?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rams</a> WR Cooper Kupp is expected to be day-to-day with his ankle sprain. <a href="https://t.co/Omk9aoMmrI">pic.twitter.com/Omk9aoMmrI</a>

Losing Kupp to an injury is obviously cause for concern, and the circumstances surrounding how he got hurt led to some frustration for Rams fans. He was forced to exit with 1:02 left in a 31-14 loss at home to the San Francisco 49ers. The game was clearly out of reach, so it wasn't a time for L.A. to put its best players at any more risk than necessary.

McVay was introspective after the defeat and told reporters he was "kicking myself for not running the football again."

Fortunately for the Rams, it may not be a costly mistake.

Through seven games, Kupp isn't matching the blistering pace last year, yet he might be even more valuable to the offense.

His 64 receptions and 686 receiving yards lead the team, and tight end Tyler Higbee is the next closest player with 36 catches for 312 yards. Kupp has also accounted for five of Matthew Stafford's seven touchdown passes.

Stafford's 251.9 passing yards per game are on track to be the fourth-lowest of his career, and imagine what his production might be like if Kupp weren't available.

With the Rams looking to get back to .500 in Week 9, they can ill afford to be without the 6'2" pass-catcher.