After missing the Rams' first three games of 2023 while on injured reserve, wide receiver Cooper Kupp is on track to return sooner rather than later. While required to miss at least one more game on IR, Kupp is set to have his practice window activated by Los Angeles next week, coach Sean McVay said Friday, adding that he's hopeful the Pro Bowler will make his season debut in Week 5.
"He's practicing next week," McVay said pointedly.
Kupp hasn't played a football game since Week 10 of last season, a year which he finished with 75 catches fro 812 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. The season prior, Kupp became the only player to ever record 2,000 receiving yards in a season in the 102-year history of the NFL (including postseason). He finished the 2021 season averaging 115.5 yards per game, joining Calvin Johnson (122.8), Julio Jones (116.9) and Jerry Rice (115.5) as the only players to average more than 115 receiving yards per game in a season in NFL history.
Kupp won the receiving triple crown, becoming the fourth player since the merger to lead the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in a season. The Rams have missed Kupp's presence, making the performances of Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua even more important.
Both Atwell and Nacua had 119 receiving yards in the Week 1 victory. Adding Kupp to that equation could be lethal.
"It doesn't put a timetable on really rushing him back, allowing him to be able to go throughout a thorough process," McVay said. "He's so conscientious and I think he wanted to be out there so bad that sometimes it's, all right, well let's protect you from you because you're such an elite competitor.
"I want to be careful to put the cart before the horse that they say, but I'm hopeful about that."