Rams WR Cooper Kupp, QB Stetson Bennett to miss season opener with injuries

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp and backup quarterback Stetson Bennett will miss the season opener in Seattle on Sunday because of injuries.

Coach Sean McVay said the Rams are considering whether to put Kupp on injured reserve for at least four weeks. The Super Bowl 56 MVP injured his hamstring during training camp in early August, and he had a setback last week.

Kupp, who turned 30 in June, went to Minnesota over the weekend to see a specialist about his injury, which isn't responding typically to treatment. McVay ruled out his top receiver after meeting with him Wednesday morning.

“Really not much more information,” McVay said. “Just dealing with some soft-tissue stuff, just trying to get him to feel back to normal. When that ends up occurring, we'll have him back, but in the meantime, he will not be playing for us.”

Kupp missed the final eight games of last season with an ankle injury after piling up 75 catches for 812 yards in the first half of the season. He won the triple crown of receiving in 2021 before leading the Rams to their Super Bowl victory over Cincinnati.

McVay said putting Kupp on injured reserve is “a possibility. We'll look into that. We want to just give him a little bit of time. We don't have to make that decision quite yet.”

Bennett has a right shoulder injury that will delay his potential NFL debut, McVay said. The two-time national champion at Georgia was expected to be Matthew Stafford's primary backup as a rookie after playing extensively in the Rams' preseason, but Bennett has been held out of recent workouts to rest his shoulder.

McVay said the shoulder injury has “been bothering (Bennett) on and off" for a couple of weeks.

Brett Rypien will be Stafford's backup and the only other quarterback on the roster when the Rams face Seattle. McVay said the Rams will consider signing a third quarterback if Bennett's injury persists.

Kupp's injury deprives Stafford of his favorite playmaker in an offense that struggled throughout last season because of injuries to most of its top players. The Rams' top receivers in Kupp's absence are likely to be Van Jefferson, newcomer Demarcus Robinson, Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua.

“(Kupp) wants to be out there with his teammates, and he puts so much into it,” McVay said. “It's so unfortunate. It's been frustrating.”


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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press