Head coach Sean McVay began his Wednesday press conference with good news: All-Pro kicker Greg Zuerlein will — in all likelihood — be back for Sunday's game against the 49ers.
"We're excited to get Greg back," head coach Sean McVay said. "He had a good workout, feels good, got the full clearance, thumbs up."
Zuerlein has missed the last five games since suffering a right groin injury during pregame of the Week 2 matchup against the Cardinals.
"I just went over to 'Bones' and and said, 'Hey, I don't think I can do this.' And he's like, 'OK.' And then he handled it from there," Zuerlein said of pregame in Week 2, referring to special teams coordinator John Fassel. "It was just one of those things where my muscle kept getting tighter until I felt a pull. And then at that point, I knew I wouldn't be able to play."
For that game, L.A. used punter Johnny Hekker as the team's place kicker, and then had Sam Ficken for two games and Cairo Santos for two games.
"As a competitor, you never like sitting on the sideline and watching," Zuerlein said. "But I'm really proud of the way the kickers that we had here went out there. I thought they did a good job. Johnny did fantastic. I'm just happy to be out there myself and hopefully help this team win football games."
"We couldn't be more appreciative of what Cairo Santos brought to our football team over the last couple weeks — really, two game-winning kicks. And what a stud he is," McVay said. "And what a class act, and wish him nothing but the best, and we're thankful for what he did for us."
Named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Raiders to open the season, Zuerlein has made four of his five attempted field goals in 2018 — with the one miss coming from 47 yards off of Oakland's infield dirt. He's also connected on all three of his extra points.
Zuerlein led the league in scoring in 2017 with 158 points on 38 field goals and 44 extra points. He said he feels like he needs to get through the week of practice to truly be ready for gameday. But with L.A. already cut Santos and McVay noting that Zuerlein's cleared, it's fair to expect the All-Pro to be out there on Sunday.
And quarterback Jared Goff said Zuerlein's return does provide a lift to the team as a whole.
"He's a guy that we've relied on for the last two years," Goff said. "Getting Greg back and just having that consistency where you get inside a certain number as an offense and, to be honest, you really don't even think about it. You kind of go to the sideline, expect three points to go up. And he's been that way, and he's earned that. And we really trust him."
Elsewhere on the injury front, McVay said starting left guard Rodger Saffold is on track to play this week against San Francisco. Saffold had to leave Sunday's contest with a knee injury and did not return. While the Rams held only a walk-thru instead of practice on Wednesday, Saffold is listed as a DNP for the first session of the week.
McVay also said it's safe to rule wide receiver Cooper Kupp out for Sunday's game. Kupp suffered a knee sprain against the Broncos and is considered week-to-week at this point.
"Do not expect him to play," McVay said. "We're going to take it a day at a time with him, but I think it's safe to rule him out for this week. But we'll just see how he progresses one day at a time. But, if there's anybody that's going to attack his rehab the right way, we all know that's going to be Cooper."
Below is the full injury Wednesday injury report for both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each team held a walk-thru instead of a full practice:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DL Michael Brockers (shoulder)
WR Cooper Kupp (knee)
OLB Matt Longacre (back)
LG Rodger Saffold (knee)
WR Josh Reynolds (hand)
K Greg Zuerlein (groin)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Pierre Garçon (shoulder/knee)
OG Mike Person (knee)
C Weston Richburg (knee)
OT Joe Staley (knee)
CB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)
CB K'Waun Williams (shoulder)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion)
RB Matt Breida (shoulder/ankle)
TE George Kittle (knee)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
WR Trent Taylor (back)
LB Reuben Foster (shoulder)
OG Joshua Garnett (toe)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring/quad)
S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder)