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McVay: Cooper Kupp went to visit specialist about hamstring, remains day-to-day 

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay on Monday confirmed wide receiver Cooper Kupp went to visit a specialist in Minnesota about his hamstring injury.

Kupp was still in Minnesota visiting with that specialist as of Monday morning when McVay spoke to reporters, but McVay said he expects Kupp to be back with the team later today or tomorrow. Kupp's status remains day-to-day, per McVay.

"I think you want to be able to just take it a day at a time, and I know that's the cliché thing," McVay said prior to Monday's practice. "But we're hopeful that this will give some clarity once he goes and talks to these doctors, because it doesn't fall in alignment with some of the things that have ended up occurring relative to the standard strains of the hamstring, just based on what's occurred over the last month and a half. So, I think we want to be able to get some clarity, and hopefully that clarity provides a better answer to what you're asking."

Out of respect for the privacy of the situation, McVay didn't want to get into the specifics of who the specialists were that Kupp was visiting, but indicated it was a reputable one based on conversations with Rams Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance Reggie Scott and head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, as well as Kupp's agent Ryan Tollner, about it last week. McVay indicated the specialists are looking at the nature of the injury and whether it is a soft tissue issue.

"I did know from speaking with Neil ElAttrache, speaking with Reggie Scott, and then I know Ryan Tollner was a part of this, Cooper's agent, to be able to kind of figure out, alright, what is one of the more reputable people in regards to what we think this might be, that's a little bit different and a little bit outside the framework of a soft tissue," McVay said. "And so he went to go see those guys."

Going this route, according to McVay, was based on the Rams wanting to use everything in their power and all resources at their disposal.

"I think the biggest thing I can say is there were just some things that were a little bit out of the norm relative to, you say it's a muscle strain, alright, or it's a hamstring when you re-aggravated it, it really just didn't go in alignment with when those things occur in other situations and under similar circumstances," McVay said. "And so, felt like this would hopefully give us some clarity just based on his ability to articulate what he's feeling, some of the information that we got from the MRIs. So that was kind of what led to it, is just really trying to explore all avenues and try to get some clarity."

McVay said he'll have more clarity on Kupp's status on Wednesday. Asked how Kupp's situation affects the Rams' ability to prepare for Week 1, McVay said the team just moves forward and has to be able to operate with the situation and the players they have.

Ultimately, what is most important is Kupp being at a return-to-performance level and having clarity on his injury.

"If he's able to go, then that's outstanding for us. And if not, then that's kind of how we've been operating," McVay said. "I think the most important thing is, whenever he's able to take the field, whether that be this week, whether that be Week 2, whatever it is, as long as he's able to have that return to performance, he's feeling like the Cooper Kupp that we all know and love, and he's got some clarity on, alright, what is really going on, I think that'll be a really good situation for us."

As McVay alluded to, If Kupp ends up being unavailable for Week 1, it wouldn't be unfamiliar territory. Los Angeles' offense operated without Kupp for most of the offseason program as he tended to family matters and ankle rehab, and for a good portion of training camp as well when Kupp initially missed time with the hamstring injury. And after how last season went, the Rams are better prepared in the event Kupp does miss time.

"You look at it in the meantime, and really in his absence over the majority of the offseason program for, whether he was doing stuff with family or just some of the things that he was rehabbing with his ankle, it has forced growth and development for some players, and they've gotten some reps and opportunities and a rapport with Matthew that you can feel confident in their ability to step up if that's what has to occur," McVay said.

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