Rams’ WR Cooper Kupp suffered an ankle injury late in Sunday’s 31-14 loss to the 49ers, but is expected to play in Week 9 according to head coach Sean McVay.
The injury shouldn’t have happened. Down 31-14 with just over one minute remaining and backed up to their own 15-yard line, the Rams kept most of their starters in. The game was already over, but McVay called for a screen pass to Kupp, who proceeded to turn upfield for a five yard gain before getting stopped by San Francisco defenders, specifically LB Fred Warner.
Warner dragged Kupp down from behind, in the process landing on his left ankle. The weight of Warner’s body twisted Kupp’s ankle against the ground and once the play was blown dead, Kupp stayed down. He was met by medical staff and trainers, and after a few minutes he managed to walk off the field under his own power.
After the game, McVay said he was “kicking himself” for keeping Kupp in the game while down by three possessions and with less than two minutes remaining. Kupp himself said he felt he “dodged a bullet” in regards to the severity of the injury,
Additional testing showed that Kupp has tissue swelling in the ankle but avoided structural damage. Our algorithm calculates this to be a Grade 1 ankle injury, and gives him a 14 day Optimal Recovery Time. His Injury Risk is High (25%) and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average (50%).
McVay said he expects Kupp to be active for Week 9, which – based on our algorithm – means he will return a week before reaching ORT. As a result, his performance is likely to be impacted and he may be on a snap count.
The ankle is a network of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles that allow the foot to move up and down. When there is damage to the tissue, the ankle’s mobility is limited, meaning explosive players like Kupp can’t jump, cut, or sprint like they’re used to.