Cooper Kupp's 2023 season will unfortunately begin in the same place his 2022 campaign concluded.
Kupp will miss at least the first four games of the season, as he's being placed on injured reserve due to a lingering hamstring injury, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, per a source.
The Rams have since announced the news.
Kupp, who head coach Sean McVay announced was out for Week 1 on Wednesday, is now guaranteed to miss 12 straight games for the Rams, dating back to Week 10 of last season in which he suffered an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals that led to a season-ending trip to IR. In addition to Sunday's opener against the Seattle Seahawks, Kupp will now be inactive versus the San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts.
For a Rams squad that was beset by injuries in a forgettable 2022, this is hardly a cheery start to their 2023 campaign.
Kupp's career trajectory has essentially paralleled that of his Rams.
The 2021 season saw Kupp haul in a rare receiving triple crown (leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns) as he propelled the Rams to the Super Bowl. However, in 2022, Los Angeles struggled to a 5-12 finish, while Kupp was hobbled by the aforementioned ankle injury.
Kupp is now eligible to make his season debut in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That's hardly a guarantee, though, as hamstring injuries can stick around and Kupp has already consulted a specialist due to the persisting issues with his hammy. He originally sustained his injury on Aug. 1, but would return to practice not long after. However, he suffered a setback at the tail end of the month that's now put a halt to the start of his seventh season.
The only certainty pertaining to Kupp is that the former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player will miss Sunday's opener against the Seahawks and the next three games after that. Over the past two seasons, Kupp has proven himself to be one of the top receivers in the game when he's on the field, but just when he finally returns remains a lingering concern.