Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay is hopeful wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp will pass the league’s concussion protocol and be available to play at the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but he also knows he has solid contingency plans if they’re sidelined.
McVay said Monday that Cooks and Kupp did not display any concussion symptoms the day after both were hurt in a 33-31 comeback win at Seattle.
“We’re hopeful to get good positive results with how Cooper and Brandin come back, and if we get them back, then we know that would be a big boost to our offense,” McVay said.
Cooks was evaluated for a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson late in the second quarter, a play McVay said he did not believe was made with any malicious intent.
Kupp hit his head on the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field after making a catch later in the same drive. McVay said Kupp communicated his discomfort at halftime, which led to him being placed in the concussion protocol.
“And both of those guys, their symptoms, they didn’t really have any symptoms a couple hours after the game. Brandin actually did a great job responding immediately, but you can never be too safe and too cautious with those kind of things. Those were the first two guys waiting for us when we got back into the locker room,” McVay said.
McVay was impressed with how reserve receivers Josh Reynolds and KhaDarel Hodge stepped in against the Seahawks.
Reynolds had 22- and 17-yard receptions and ran for 10 yards on a jet sweep on three consecutive plays on the first possession of the second half, a drive that ended with a short touchdown run by Todd Gurley.
Hodge made his first career reception, a 14-yard catch in the fourth quarter, to start a drive that ended with Cairo Santos kicking the go-ahead field goal for the Rams (5-0).
Reynolds, in his second season out of Texas A&M, and Hodge, an undrafted free agent from Prairie View A&M, were in those roles because of injuries to backup receivers Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas.
“It’s tough because there was a lot of different things specifically that maybe we wanted to do, and to (wide receivers coach Eric) Yarber’s credit and really to those players’ credit, they did an excellent job stepping in on short notice,” McVay said. “Didn’t really get a whole lot of reps throughout the course of the week, and when their number was dialed they did a great job delivering.”
McVay said starting receiver Robert Woods was instrumental in allowing Los Angeles to continue to operate its base offense. Not only did Woods move into Kupp’s position, it was his communication that helped the inexperienced Reynolds and Hodge process calls, routes and formations.
Woods, who also took over returning punts with Kupp out, finished with five receptions for 92 yards and two carries for 53 yards. It was his third straight game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage.
“What he did for us yesterday, delivered every opportunity that he had whether it was running the football, whether it was catching it, and then you watch some of the key blocks he had at the point of attack, some of our touchdown runs, he was a guy that was very deserving of a game ball yesterday,” McVay said.
NOTES: CB Sam Shields sustained a shoulder injury against Seattle, but McVay said it was not serious. … K Greg Zuerlein (groin) “hasn’t had any setbacks,” McVay said. The Rams will have a better sense of whether Zuerlein will be available for the first time since sustaining the injury during pregame warmups in Week 3 on Wednesday. … The Rams claimed CB Darious Williams off waivers Monday. Williams, an undrafted rookie from UAB, appeared in three games for the Baltimore Ravens.
Source: The Associated Press