Los Angeles Rams star wide receiver Cooper Kupp is expected to make his season debut in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), The Athletic reported Friday.
Kupp appeared to be on track to begin the season with the Rams before suffering a hamstring injury in his recovery from an ankle sprain, which cut his 2022 campaign short after nine games. He began the 2023 season on injured reserve.
In Kupp’s absence, rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua has emerged as a premier pass-catching option. Across the Rams’ first four games, Nacua has totaled an NFL-high 39 receptions for 501 yards and one touchdown.
Can a healthy Kupp and Nacua get the Rams back in the playoff mix?
FOX Sports’ Greg Olsen detailed how a healthy Kupp and Nacua could do some serious damage together if the Rams figure out distinct roles for the two on the latest edition of “The NFL on FOX Podcast.”
“[Nacua] does do a lot of his damage out of the inside kind of slot position,” Olsen said. “He’s a big physical guy, makes a lot of contested catches, seems like he’s always open. He’s kind of assumed that role that we’ve seen for years Cooper Kupp have. It’s a good problem to have if you’re [coach] Sean McVay. It’s ‘OK, I have a lot of guys now I can throw the ball to, how do I work it all together and build the package?’ I think for the Rams, that’s a good thing. I think it might take them a week or two to figure out how they complement each other and what that looks like with them both on the field at the same time.
“But let’s not forget, just a couple [of] years ago, Cooper Kupp was the Offensive Player of the Year, just shy of 2,000 receiving yards. This guy’s a pretty good player when healthy, so I think he’s gonna get his opportunities.”
What does Cooper Kupp’s return mean for Puka Nacua, Matthew Stafford?
Kupp’s last full season was 2021, when he and the Rams won Super Bowl LVI. In that season, Kupp logged an absurd 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns, which all led the NFL.
Olsen also argued that the Rams passing game is a way for them to challenge the Eagles, as Philadelphia is surrendering 260.8 passing yards per game this season, 27th in the sport. For perspective, the Eagles were first in NFL in passing yards surrendered last season, giving up just 179.8 yards per game.
The Rams come into Week 5 at 2-2, fresh off an overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts with their other win coming on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.
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