INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get much worse for the Los Angeles Rams, star wide receiver Cooper Kupp injured his right ankle in the fourth quarter of their 27-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Super Bowl MVP landed awkwardly trying to catch a pass from John Wolford that was too high, coming down on his right leg with 14:18 remaining and the Rams trailing 17-10.
Coach Sean McVay didn't have an update on Kupp’s injury immediately after the game.
“I just know it didn’t look good, it didn’t sound good,” McVay said.
Kupp stayed down on the sideline and was attended to by trainers before hopping to the bench without putting any weight on his leg. He was eventually able to walk back to the locker room with 12:44 to play and did not return.
The injury to Kupp was the latest setback during the Rams’ dismal defense of their championship. Quarterback Matthew Stafford did not play after failing to clear concussion protocol, and Wolford struggled behind a makeshift offensive line after a successful first drive ended in a field goal.
The Rams (3-6) finished with 256 yards of offense, their third straight game with less than 300 yards and fifth of the season.
It was the fifth time the Rams have failed to score more than 17 points, including each outing during their current three-game losing streak.
“Not a lot of positives that you can take away from this,” McVay said. “It’s tough, it stings. There’s just a lot of different reasons that we’re in this position.”
Kupp, who last season led the NFL in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches, had three receptions for minus-1 yard. He still leads the team with 75 receptions for 812 yards and six touchdowns this season.
It was the second straight home game where the Rams left the stadium with concerns about Kupp. He avoided serious injury when he rolled his ankle late in the 31-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 30.
“I mean, he’s arguably the best receiver in the league,” said Wolford, who was 24 of 36 for 212 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “He’s a great leader for us. And we’ll definitely feel the impact of him not being out there, but guys got to step up and we got to rally if he’s not able to go.”
With the offense unable to muster any help with three consecutive three-and-outs and a lost fumble, the defense gave up two backbreaking touchdowns to Arizona and its backup quarterback Colt McCoy in a span of 1:32 late in the first half.
“It’s our job, man,” outside linebacker Leonard Floyd said. “Offense got to score, and defense got to stop the offense from scoring, and special teams got to protect the ball. That’s what it come down to, doing your job.”
This is the first time the Rams have been three games under .500 in McVay’s six seasons. The 36-year-old is most troubled by the team’s inability to get better.
“Whatever that means in terms of the results, we just have to be able to have a better product out there, start to see some improvement,” McVay said. “And that’s the challenging thing is there really hasn’t been examples of that occurring, and so got to be able to look at some of the things that we’re doing process-wise. I got to be able to look at myself in the mirror and figure out what are those things, ’cause I feel very responsible for us being in this position.”
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL