Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp will miss significant time after undergoing ankle surgery this week following a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 10. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, there is a possibility the All-Pro weapon misses the rest of the season.
Kupp suffered the ankle injury late in last Sunday’s game and the Rams admitted immediately afterward that it was significant. He underwent tightrope surgery this week, a procedure that is becoming more common for NFL players that is meant to allow for faster healing.
However, Kupp is still facing a significant absence. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the early expectation is Kupp will miss 6-8 weeks of action. Some players have returned faster than the six-week timeline, but it’s a relatively new technique by doctors and the recovery timelines can extend beyond the two-month window.
There’s a realistic possibility Kupp doesn’t return this season. Los Angeles enters Week 11 with a 3-6 record, last in the NFC West and quickly spiraling down the NFL standings. With the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks looming, there’s a strong chance the Rams are locked into a sub-.500 record before Kupp even has a shot to return.
- Cooper Kupp stats: 75 receptions, 812 receiving yards, six touchdowns
For the 29-year-old wideout, the Rams’ positioning will determine if he returns. A 10-loss team in late December won’t see the value in rushing Kupp back to the field when he isn’t fully recovered from the surgery. With no signs of Los Angeles improving, there is a stronger likelihood that Kupp won’t play again this season.
Related: Los Angeles Rams schedule
Fantasy impact of Cooper Kupp injury
Evaluating the immediate fantasy fallout from Kupp’s injury is more challenging because of the Rams’ situation. Matthew Stafford missed the Week 10 matchup, with backup quarterback John Wolford stepping in as the fill-in starter.
If the Rams’ passing offense follows the same distribution of targets upon Stafford’s return, tight end Tyler Higbee is the beneficiary. He became Stafford’s go-to target early in the season when teams focused more on Kupp. Entering Week 11, Higbee has 44 receptions on 65 targets.
While this should open the door for Allen Robinson to make an impact, there’s been an evident lack of chemistry between him and Stafford this season. The former Pro Bowl receiver has also regressed in recent years, lacking the separation ability he flashed early in his NFL career.
Ultimately, fantasy football managers might be looking at a scenario where Higbee is the only viable starting option on the Rams’ roster.