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Opposing View: Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury on preparing for a Rams offense with possible personnel changes

Already down their normal starting quarterback in Jared Goff and leading rusher in Darrell Henderson Jr., the Rams offense could also be playing without their leading wide receiver and second-leading rusher on Sunday.

Whether Cooper Kupp and Cam Akers are available or not, and whether young players have to step up, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury believes Rams head coach Sean McVay will adjust seamlessly.

"Sean, like I said, he does a tremendous job maximizing his personnel, putting those guys in positions to be successful. So, it's not going to change much," Kingsbury said during a conference call with Rams beat writers Wednesday. "This team's beaten us seven times in a row, so there won't be any sort of overlooking what they're capable of, or how many points they can score."

Kupp was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday and is unlikely to be available for Sunday's game (1:25 p.m. PT, CBS), according McVay. His 92 receptions and 974 yards this season both lead all Rams receivers, while his three touchdown catches are third-most on the team.

"Yeah, Kupp is one of the best in the game," Kingsbury said. "I mean, he's so good at finding a soft spot, so good at those rhythm routes. He and Goff had such great chemistry together, and third downs come to mind. I mean, he has so many big catches on third downs where he's extending the drive. It's hard to replace a guy like that."

At the same time, Kingsbury knows the Rams have younger players "that have flashed" this season and can be worked into the rotation if necessary, such as rookie wide receiver Van Jefferson. Jefferson had four catches for 27 yards in the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 6, the reception total matching his season-high.

Kingsbury also anticipates McVay being able to adjust accordingly scheme-wise to make up for potential absences.

"With Sean, he's going to fill the void in different ways, different play calls, whether it's more 12-personnel, or bring in the young wide receiver in from Florida," Kingsbury said. "He'll have a great plan."

With Goff out after undergoing thumb surgery this week, it will be John Wolford under center for the Rams against the Cardinals.

Wolford will be making his first NFL start, and while that leaves no regular season film for the Cardinals to study, Kingsbury said they can review his Alliance of American Football film and his college tape to get an idea of what to expect this weekend.

"Knowing Sean, he's going to have things in that play to (Wolford's) strengths and then what he does well and what he's comfortable with," Kingsbury said. "From what I've seen, he can extend plays, very accurate, gets the ball out quick and very smart player. It's going to be a heck of a challenge. We expect him to a really high level, playing in that offense with Sean calling the plays. So we're preparing for their best shot."

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