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    Rams WR Cooper Kupp expected to make season debut vs. Eagles
    • October 6, 2023

    THOUSAND OAKS — Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is expected to make his season debut in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, head coach Sean McVay said Friday.

    McVay added that there could be unforeseen setbacks, but Kupp is feeling healthy and has looked like himself since beginning to practice on Wednesday.

    “You can’t ever really simulate the game in these practice settings, especially once you get a quarter of the way into the season,” McVay said. “But he’s very comfortable, he’s so conscientious, he looks like he’s moving around really well. Seeing good things between he and Matthew with a lot of their non-verbal communication. Just having his presence out there is definitely a boost. So I’m really happy for him.”

    Kupp missed the first four games of the season with a hamstring pull suffered at the beginning of training camp and then aggravated by a setback in the final week of the preseason. He flew to see a specialist in Minnesota because there were elements of his injury that weren’t acting like a typical soft-tissue pull.

    But nothing new arose, and the Rams made the decision to put Kupp on injured reserve for at least the first four weeks of the season, allowing him the time and patience to heal on his body’s schedule and not dictated by the NFL’s.

    “That was always in the back of his mind because he’s such a conscientious guy and you feel obligated,” McVay said. “I think there was a benefit of just the overall time to have a good rehabilitation program that was structured towards just building the overall strength and trying to eliminate some of the, whether it’s the sensations or the things that weren’t in alignment when the muscle strain, whatever that was, he’s feeling good now and I think the time was beneficial for that.”

    Sunday would be Kupp’s first game since he suffered a season-ending high ankle sprain in Week 9 last year. That injury required off-season surgery that limited Kupp during OTAs. But he had looked like his old self during the first week of training camp, making acrobatic catches that left defensive backs hanging their heads.

    The Rams will be monitoring and communicating with Kupp during the game Sunday to see how much of a workload he is capable of taking on rather than entering the game with a set number of snaps that he can play.

    “That’ll be something we want to be careful about, but it’ll be a lot of that communication in terms of how he’s feeling as well because he has such a good ability to do that with myself and the rest of our coaches,” McVay said. “The beauty of it is with him being out, there’s been a lot of guys that have stepped up and we’ve been able to develop some depth and guys have earned the right to get out on the field and contribute.”

    Noteboom out Sunday

    The Rams have some good and bad news along the offensive line entering Sunday. We’ll start with the bad, regardless of your preference, because we already teased it above.

    Right guard Joe Noteboom (groin) will be out against the Eagles, McVay said. Kevin Dotson will continue to fill in at right guard, as he did last week when Noteboom played left tackle.

    But the Rams are expected to get their starting left tackle, Alaric Jackson, back on Sunday after he was a limited participant in practice on Friday. Jackson missed the Week 4 win over the Colts with a hamstring injury, but he’s progressed enough that he can return. Rookie Warren McClendon will serve as his backup, McVay added.

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    ​ Orange County Register