Cooper Kupp

Rams To Activate WR Pharoh Cooper

The Rams are expected to activate wide receiver/returner Pharoh Cooper from injured reserve before Monday night’s game against the Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cooper Kupp, who went down with a torn ACL in Week 11, has formally been placed on injured reserve. 

Cooper has appeared in just one game this season, as the ankle injury he suffered in Los Angeles’ season opener landed him on IR. Now that he’s missed eight weeks, Cooper is eligible to return and began practicing last week. That opened up a three-week window during which the Rams had to decide whether to activate Cooper, or keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.

A fourth-round pick out of South Carolina in 2016, Cooper earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2017 as a return man. The 23 year-old Cooper handled 66 combined kick and punt returns, and led the NFL in yards per kickoff return (27.4). He will immediately take back both of those roles from Blake Countess and Jojo Natson, who have been handling kicks and punts, respectively.

Cooper hasn’t been much of an offensive force through two-plus years in the NFL. He played roughly 400 offensive snaps from 2016-17 and managed only 25 total receptions during that time. Cooper could conceivably see snaps at receiver now that Kupp is done for the season, but the Rams typically stick with the same three wideouts (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and — now — Josh Reynolds) in their “11” personnel package.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams’ Cooper Kupp Suffers Torn ACL

The Rams’ worst fears have been confirmed. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been ruled out for the season with a torn ACL, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Kupp, 25, was in the midst of another strong season with 40 catches for 566 yards and six touchdowns in eight games. Unfortunately, the injury that forced him out of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks will end his season and leave the 9-1 Rams without one of their best weapons.

The third-round pick out of Eastern Washington was a pleasant surprise for the Rams last season as he racked up 62 catches for 869 yards and five scores. This year, before the injury, he was on pace for about 70 catches for 985 yards and ten scores.

The Rams still have plenty of pass-catching ammo thanks to Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, but each player will attract more attention without Kupp on the field. Josh Reynolds, JoJo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge, and Nick Williams are also on the roster, so the Rams might not have to sign another receiver.

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Rams Fear Torn ACL For Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp left the Rams’ win over the Seahawks with a knee injury, and it appears it’ll be season ending. The Rams fear Kupp tore his ACL, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

It’s devastating news for the Rams, who improved to 9-1 on the season with their victory today. Kupp will almost certainly miss the remainder of the season, which is a big blow to the NFC’s top team. Kupp had suffered a different knee injury earlier this season, and had only recently returned after missing two games.

Kupp left the game with a non-contact knee injury and was immediately ruled out, so it looked grim from the start. Kupp was having a great year before going down, catching 35 passes for 527 yards and six touchdowns in less than seven full games.

Even with Kupp out, the Rams still one of the best arrays of offensive weapons in the league. The team will lean heavily on Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Todd Gurley in the passing game moving forward. Tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett will also both be counted on to step up.

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Cooper Kupp Expected To Return This Weekend

Cooper Kupp is expected to make his return tomorrow. As NFL.com’s Jason B. Hirschhorn notes, the wideout wasn’t included on the Rams’ final injury report, an indication that he’s good to go for his team’s matchup against the Saints.

Kupp missed the past two games as he dealt with a knee injury, but the receiver had made progress throughout the past week. Head coach Sean McVay all but confirmed Kupp’s return yesterday, saying the wideout was on track to return to the lineup.

“He is, yeah,” McVay said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). “He was feeling good yesterday. Today will really be the big day just based on the way that we’re operating as far as practice goes. Our belief is that he’s going to be good to go.”

The 25-year-old was proving that his impressive 2017 rookie campaign wasn’t a fluke, as he’s hauled in 30 receptions for 438 yards and five touchdowns in six games (six starts) this season. The former third-rounder had also collected four rushing attempts and a punt return.

Kupp will be rejoining an electric Rams offense that’s also led by quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, and fellow wideouts Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. With Kupp back in full health, the team could realistically look to move on from any of their other four healthy receivers: Josh Reynolds, Nick Williams, Jojo Natson, and KhaDarel Hodge (the team also has Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas sitting on the injured reserve).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Sign Top Three Picks

The Rams have finally begun to lock up their draft class. The club signed its top three picks – tight end Gerald Everett, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive back Josh Johnson – on Friday, tweets Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com.

Gerald Everett

Trading up to No. 1 overall in 2016 for quarterback Jared Goff left the Rams without a first-rounder this year, meaning they didn’t pick until No. 44. That’s where they landed Everett, who transferred from UAB to South Alabama after the 2014 season and ended his college career with back-to-back 40-catch seasons. With the Rams having released their previous No. 1 tight end, Lance Kendricks, earlier this offseason, the 6-foot-3, 239-pound Everett is in line to open his NFL career as a starter. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com likens Everett to the Titans’ Delanie Walker, a pass-catching machine who has racked up 282 receptions and 23 touchdowns since 2013.

Kupp, the 69th pick and the first of two third-rounders for the Rams, thrived at Eastern Washington, where he combined for FCS-record-setting numbers (428 catches, 6,464 yards and 73 TDs) over four seasons. Along with free agent pickup Robert Woods, the 6-2, 204-pound Kupp is one of two prominent newcomers in LA’s receiving corps, which was among the league’s worst last year.

Johnson was the Rams’ second choice in Round 3 (No. 91), and is coming off back-to-back three-interception seasons at Boston College. The 6-0, 208-pounder has the coverage skills necessary to start right away, per Zierlein, and is capable of playing both safety and cornerback.

“I think I fit best as a safety, although I think I have a corner body type,” Johnson said in April (via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times). “I came into Boston College as a corner, and I like covering man to man. I like covering the intermediate zone … but I think I would fit best as a safety.”

The Rams still have five more picks to sign, including two fourth-rounders.

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Eagles Notes: McGloin, Wentz, Draft

This year, Eagles player personnel vice president Joe Douglas and de facto general manager Howie Roseman are teaming up to run the draft, as Les Bowen of The Philadelphia News writes. “Since he’s been here, have we done everything that I wanted to do? No. Have we done everything that he wants to do? No. But have we done everything that’s right for the Philadelphia Eagles? Yes,” Roseman said. Earlier this week, both men spoke highly of controversial Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon.

Here’s more from Philly:

  • Matt McGloin‘s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $800K, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). The quarterback gets $775K of that sum from his base salary plus a $25K workout bonus and no guaranteed money. “Moxy” currently projects to be the third QB on the Eagles’ depth chart behind starter Carson Wentz and primary backup Nick Foles, but the Eagles could conceivably use a late pick on another signal caller in the upcoming draft. It’s also not a given that they’ll carry three QBs on the 53-man roster in the fall.
  • The Eagles will listen to what Wentz has to say about certain prospects, as Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. “If there’s any player on our roster that has insight into a guy in free agency or the draft, it’s part of our information gathering,” Roseman said. “Certainly, it’s no different with Carson. If he has insight because he worked out with a particular guy or knows a guy from college, then we want that information. But that’s not unusual just to him.” This offseason, Wentz worked out in California with several draft prospects, including Cooper Kupp, Chad Hansen, Mack Hollins, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, so he might be able to give the front office some extra scouting material.
  • Mike Kern of the Daily News advocates for the Eagles to take running back Christian McCaffrey at No. 14 overall. He also pitches the unorthodox idea of the Eagles going for tight end O.J. Howard if he falls that far, but that would be a surprise given that they already have Zach Ertz at TE.

Draft Rumors: Fournette, Foster, Robinson

LSU running back Leonard Fournette will visit the 49ers prior to the draft, reports Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. While the 49ers would reportedly like to trade down in Round 1, Fournette could be a possibility for them if they keep the second overall pick. San Francisco already has a productive No. 1 back in Carlos Hyde, whom general manager John Lynch spoke highly of last week, but there are whispers that the rookie executive wants to make change in the backfield.

More on the upcoming draft:

  • The Jets hosted Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster on Monday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. As is the case with the 49ers, the Jets’ goal is to move down from their current first-round slot (No. 6). If a deal doesn’t come to fruition, though, they’ll likely be in the neighborhood of where Foster will come off the board.
  • Offensive tackle Cam Robinson, who was teammates with Foster at Alabama, is drawing significant interest from the Texans. Houston worked out Robinson earlier this month, and he’s now in town for a two-day visit that will include another workout, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). The tackle-needy Texans are in line to pick 25th overall, but Robinson could be gone by then. The Bengals, owners of the ninth overall selection, met with Robinson over the weekend, Rapoport adds. In the event Robinson falls to the end of the first round, the Falcons (No. 31) will be a team to keep an eye on, writes Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com.
  • Colorado cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is gaining momentum as a potential first-round pick, per Rob Rang of CBSSports.com. The fact that Awuzie has experience inside and at nickel makes him a candidate to step into the league and make an impact from the get-go, notes Rang, who lauds the 6-foot, 202-pounder’s “above-average size,” “impressive athleticism” and coverage “savvy.” Awuzie is on the radars of the Titans and Raiders, either of whom could grab him in the second half of the opening round.
  • Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp will come off the board “very high” in the second round, according to CBS Sports’ Jason Canfora, who has heard comparisons between Kupp and the Patriots’ Julian Edelman.
  • In advance of their meeting with Utah offensive tackle Garret Bolles on Tuesday, the Broncos hosted Wisconsin bookend Ryan Ramczyk on Monday, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Both players are first-round possibilities for Denver at No. 20 overall.