Los Angeles Rams star Cooper Kupp is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks after undergoing ankle surgery this week, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The receiver's return could also be tied to the Rams' chances of contention after a 3-6 start to the season.
"If Los Angeles' struggles continue, it most certainly means that Kupp would not be likely to play again until the 2023 season," Schefter reported.
The Rams have eight games remaining in the regular season, starting with Sunday's road game against the New Orleans Saints.
Kupp suffered the high-ankle sprain in last Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the game with negative-one yards on three catches, representing just his second game with fewer than 60 receiving yards in the past two seasons.
Rams coach Sean McVay announced afterwards Kupp would require a "tightrope" procedure on the ankle that usually comes with a five-to-six week recovery timeline.
It now seems the injury will keep him off the field even longer, and he is unlikely to rush back if the Rams remain out of playoff contention.
The injury is devastating for both the Rams and fantasy football teams everywhere considering the wideout's production over the past two years.
The 29-year-old led the NFL with 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns last year, eventually winning Super Bowl MVP after leading the Rams to a championship. He continued to rack up the catches in 2022 with 75 receptions for 812 yards and six touchdowns through nine games, ranking in the top five of the NFL in each category.
Without him, Los Angeles will need to rely on Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek.