THOUSAND OAKS — While no decision has been made, Rams head coach Sean McVay said Friday there remains a chance that wide receiver Cooper Kupp (hamstring), quarterback Stetson Bennett IV (shoulder) and tight end Hunter Long (thigh) wind up on injured reserve.
The Rams have until Saturday to designate those players to the IR and allow them to return after the first four games of the season. Any designation after Saturday would lead to a more extended absence for them.
“I would say there is a definite possibility on all those guys [going on IR],” McVay said.
Kupp injured his hamstring early in training camp and went to see a specialist after a re-aggravation last week. Bennett had been dealing with a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the past week, while Long’s thigh has evolved into a hamstring issue, as well.
All three were ruled out Wednesday for Sunday’s opener against the Seattle Seahawks. As the Rams decide their fates, McVay will lean on his experience dealing with a myriad of injuries last season.
“No injury is the same, but I think it’s the, hey, let’s make sure that there’s an empathy, but there’s also a confidence in those guys that might have to play in getting those guys ready to go,” McVay said. “It definitely affects the process as it relates to guys that you’re trying to make sure that you maintain their health over the course of a 17-game season and hopefully earning the right to play after that.”
With Bennett out, the Rams will rely on fifth-year veteran Brett Rypien as their backup quarterback. A new addition to the Rams this season, Rypien spent training camp competing with Bennett for the backup job before being relegated to the practice squad following final roster cuts last week.
Rypien, the nephew of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien, has had a full preseason to learn the Rams’ system and enough familiarity if he is thrust into the action by an injury to starter Matthew Stafford.
“A guy that has good command, doesn’t need a whole lot of reps to be able to have great understanding of what we’re trying to get done, the intent, good communication in the huddle, has the ability to be able to operate the offense at a high level,” McVay said. “God forbid, we want Matthew to be healthy and ready to go and hopefully that’s not a situation that we have to explore, but if so you want somebody that can come in and give you a chance to compete and go play to the best of your ability.”
Wide receiver Van Jefferson and center Brian Allen were non-participants in Friday’s practice. McVay said both received veteran rest days and neither has an injury designation ahead of Sunday’s game.
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