LA Rams cannot ask more of WR Cooper Kupp. But should they anyway?

Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams are in a bit of a tough spot right now. With injuries that have devastated the team at the wide receiver, running back, secondary, and outside linebacker position, the team has felt a bit shallow and hampered at times this season. Like, right now.

But when it comes to connecting with wide receiver Cooper Kupp, that has been a steady dose of offensive output all season. Even as nearly everything else on the team implodes around them, Kupp remains a highly productive player. In fact, even though the team is reeling from their past three losses, he has caught 29 of 36 passes for 313 yards.

That’s pretty impressive. But is there more that he could do?

No, I’m not talking about the mistake of placing him as a returner for punts or kickoffs. In fact, I’m overly concerned that the decision to do so might be regrettable.

I see a different, and far more productive use for the NFL’s leading wide receiver. Right now, Kupp is stuck at 10 touchdowns, a career-tying total that he achieved in Week 8. Now, the team is entering Week 13, and he has simply stopped finding the end zone. Why?

Imagine that?

It’s vital that the LA Rams find new ways to free up Kupp in the Red Zone. Defenses will be acutely aware of the team’s tendencies, and they need no more than eight weeks to diagnose and neutralize the best receiver on the team?  Perhaps not in the sense of stopping his ability to catch passes and advance the chains, but in terms of putting points on the scoreboard.

To do so, the Rams will need to reinvent some offensive tendencies. A bit of breaking-the-mold is due right now, and the first and foremost player to benefit from that unexpected playmaking is Cooper Kupp. It’s quite clear that even if the LA Rams participate in the postseason, they will need to invoke far more imaginative play designs than their current practice allows. Beating the best teams in the league requires not just lining up and beating teams mano e mano, but by outthinking them as well.

Maybe the LA Rams cannot ask more of WR Cooper Kupp right now.  But they should they anyway, because the NFL won’t just roll over for the Rams. From this point forward, the Rams will need to earn each victory from the whiteboard to the football field.

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