THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Emphasizing that he didn't want to "put the cart before the horse," Rams head coach Sean McVay on Friday said he's "hopeful" wide receiver Cooper Kupp (hamstring) will be back for Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kupp was placed on Injured Reserve last Saturday in wake of dealing with "some soft tissue stuff," as McVay described last week. While that meant Kupp would be sidelined for at least the first four games, McVay said that move was made in order to give Kupp ample time to work his way back.
"The reason that we put him on IR was so that you know if it's going to be those four weeks that he's mandated be able to miss, and then we can take him off of the IR and be available for that fifth week," McVay said prior to Friday's practice. "That was the reason that we made that decision that we did last week, just because you don't know what's going to really come up. It doesn't put a timetable on really rushing him back, allowing him to be able to go throughout a thorough process."
Players who are placed on IR don't typically travel with their respective team to road games, but Kupp did so in Week 1 at the request of his fellow Rams receivers and was on the sidelines last Sunday in Seattle. Whatever feedback he provided proved effective, as Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell each finished with 119 receiving yards in Los Angeles' 30-13 road win.
"What was the most powerful thing is that those guys asked, and then wanted to make sure," McVay said. Because usually the guys that are on IR don't make the trips to these away games and things like that. But those guys specifically asked because they wanted his feedback, because of the way that he's able to lead and the information that he's able to give them that can be digestible, and then applicable, and that's really cool. I think those guys would be better equipped to answer it, but sure looked like he was giving them some good pointers."
Nacua to be listed as questionable, but expected to play
Wide receiver Puka Nacua (oblique) will be listed as questionable on the final injury report, but is expected to be ready to go for Sunday's game against the 49ers, according to McVay.
McVay said Nacua's oblique injury was picked up from last Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
"We're being smart with him," McVay said. "You guys saw what a physical performance he had last week. He's been involved in every part of it. We just wanted to make sure that we're doing everything we can to get him feeling as good as possible by Sunday. Today's even more of an above-the-neck emphasis, which he will take part of. So we feel good about that. But we will list him as questionable."