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McVay: WR Cooper Kupp has setback with hamstring; day-to-day with muscle strain

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has had a setback with his hamstring injury, according to head coach Sean McVay.

Head coach Sean McVay said Thursday that Kupp "got a little muscle strain" and is considered day-to-day. McVay confirmed the strain was related to Kupp's hamstring injury.

"I think we just take it a day at a time right now. We'll see," McVay said. "We want to be able to get him back right. We're obviously a much better team when he's available, but in his absence over the last handful of months, he's been out there leading in the way that he can. But those guys at the receiver position have really done a good job of continuing to develop, and we'll see. Hopefully we'll know exactly kind of when he's back as soon as possible, but do have a lot of confidence in the depth that's been developed in that room, and (wide receivers) coach (Eric) Yarber and (pass game specialist) coach (Jake) Peetz and (offensive assistant) coach (K.J.) Black have done a great job there."

Asked if he expects Kupp to be available for the Rams' season-opener against the Seahawks in Seattle, McVay said "I think we're taking it a day at a time right now."

Kupp initially injured his hamstring during the Rams' Aug. 1 training camp practice and was sidelined until returning to practice on Aug. 21. He was not dressed out for the portion of Thursday's practice open to media.

Kupp finished with 75 receptions for 812 yards and six touchdowns in nine games in 2022, leading the team in all three of those categories despite an injury-shortened season.

McVay indicated the Rams are still working through what replacing Kupp would look like should he be sidelined. McVay said wide receiver Ben Skowronek can play "a lot of different spots," while Demarcus Robinson has "done a nice job of continuing to get more and more comfortable" and "has played a lot of snaps in this league." McVay said it might be different in terms of how they activate their players who they feel are the best fit for attacking an "excellent, tough" Seahawks defense.

"We've got a little bit of time," McVay said. "We're going to use these next 72 hours to really be able to kind of get our ducks in a row, figure that out, and then hopefully have a great week of preparation starting on Monday for the Seahawks."

Meanwhile, the Rams will be "smart" with Kupp, knowing how tricky soft tissue injuries can be.

"I've heard (head team physician Dr.) Neal ElAttrache say this before, there's a difference between return to play and return to performance, and we want return to performance for Cooper Kupp," McVay said. "We know how special of a player, how special of a person he is, and so (we) want to make sure we're smart with that in getting him back to feeling like the Cooper Kupp that we all know, and that he's able to play the way he's capable of, whenever that is. Whether that be September 10th or not, we'll continue to monitor that and control what we can control."

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