Fragility of 5 Rams veterans can open door for backups to earn starting roles

Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages
6 of 12

V: WR Cooper Kupp

I am the last person to toss shade at the LA Rams most dangerous wide receiver, but veteran WR Cooper Kupp is about to compete in his eighth NFL season, but has only one NFL season in which he played every game in that year. Of course, that was 2021, a year in which he earned All-Pro honors and fell just shy of setting the NFL All-Time Single Season Receiving Record. So when he plays a full year, he obliterates opposing defenses.

Since that All-Pro season, Kupp has been plagued with injuries that has limited his playing time and availability. In the past two seasons, Kupp has managed to compete in just 21 of 34 games. That is an availability of less that 62 percent of the team's games. That's not a solid trend for a 31 year old player whose game is quite physical.

Throughout his seven seasons on the Rams roster, Kupp has suited up for 92 out of 113 games. He has started in just 78 of those 113 games. In truth, Kupp's only season in which he started and played in every game was the 2021 NFL season which launched him nearly to the NFL's All-Time Single Season Receiving Record. He also played in all 16 games of the 2019 NFL season, but as fate would have it, he only started in 14 of those games.

But one season only flirts with what the Rams could expect if he were able to suit up on a consistent basis. So far, the 2021 NFL season is a one and done. The hope for Kupp to put up a full season is fading rapidly. In 2023, Kupp missed five games, and it reports are true, he was tortured through the entire season with minor injuries.

A healthy Cooper Kupp is a very dangerous and productive NFL wide receiver. But if the team only gets that version twice in seven years, then how can the offense be counted on to put up league leading numbers? The Rams need Cooper Kupp for 17 games in 2024. The question is no longer will he deliver a full season for the team, but can he?