We know this for Sunday, November 6 down in Tampa for the rematch of the climatic NFC Divisional spherical matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cooper Kupp is anticipated to swimsuit up for the Los Angeles Rams — dangerous ankle and all.
But what Ram followers hope to know — can this offense rekindle the explosive nature that’s been lacking in 2022?
Rams head coach Sean McVay spent the late morning of Monday, October 31 addressing the well being of the Rams’ prized vast receiver who left the 31-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, October 30 with an ankle harm. And on Halloween, there was no fright from Ram followers, however as a substitute a collective sigh of reduction.
“Just a little lateral soft tissue swelling in that ankle,” McVay mentioned throughout a video convention with reporters. “I think he’s gonna be OK. You guys all know how tough he is. So really just kind of managing that swelling, but fortunately there wasn’t anything structurally wrong, so that’s very positive news for us.”
The upcoming highway contest in opposition to the Buccaneers presents a terrific alternative to reignite the offense. Kupp is just not solely anticipated to play in opposition to the staff that he caught 9 passes for 183 yards and delivered the pulsating diving 44-yard seize to arrange the stroll-off discipline purpose by Matt Gay, however a Bucs staff that’s struggled within the final three video games…and will now commerce certainly one of their prized defenders from their Super Bowl 55 run on the eve of the commerce deadline.
Who the Bucs Could Deal Away
Per the NFL Network trio of insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo, Sean Murphy-Bunting could possibly be on his last hours as a Buccaneer.
It’s fairly the sudden falling out for the previous beginning cornerback — who simply two seasons in the past helped gas the Bucs’ Super Bowl 55 run by delivering an interception in three straight playoff video games earlier than snatching the Vince Lombardi Trophy from the Kansas City Chiefs. He was lauded as a prime underdog story on the Bucs having gone from underneath-recruited Mid-Major prospect to postseason hero for the Bucs.
“A starter during his first three seasons, Murphy-Bunting has seen his role diminish in 2022 and has missed the past two games with a quad injury, though he’s believed to be close to healthy now. Murphy-Bunting’s talent, experience (31 NFL starts), age (25) and cheap rookie contract (due about $1.41 million for the rest of 2022) make him a logical target and Tampa Bay will have suitors if it’s willing to move him,” the NFL Network report mentioned.
Murphy-Bunting has witnessed a drastic snap lower. He’s been restricted to 42 complete snaps this season per Pro Football Focus. His snaps additionally decreased considerably following the Super Bowl run — going from 1,141 in 2020 to 524 the next season.
Would Kupp & Murphy-Bunting Clash if Latter Stays With the Bucs?
As a slot cornerback, Murphy-Bunting would possible draw Kupp if he stays with the Bucs previous the NFL commerce deadline.
But in his final sport versus Kupp and the Rams, he surrendered his most receiving yards among the many 4 receivers he drew to Kupp with 35 on 4 receptions within the playoff contest.
Two days prior to the NFL Network report of potential commerce deadline candidates, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles gave off the notion Murphy-Bunting will play in opposition to the Rams.
However, as soon as the clock strikes 4 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, November 1, the Rams and Kupp will discover out if Murphy-Bunting continues to be on the roster.
Kupp Addresses Offensive Struggles
The Bucs staff that was eradicated by the Rams confronted the league’s seventh-greatest offense.
Now? The Rams have fallen to twenty eighth total. More telling, the Rams have solely witnessed one 300-yard outing and one three-landing day from Matthew Stafford.
Injuries alongside the offensive line have performed a big half. But there have additionally been lapses in execution which have sparked the gradual begin as identified by McVay and Rams offensive gamers. The Rams continued to witness their offense wrestle of their collapse in opposition to the 49ers.
“Second half, I thought there were just a few missed opportunities,” Kupp informed reporters after the sport.
But he’s assured issues can flip round to the place it used to be for the Rams.
“You know, we’re close. We’re so close to being able to make some really big plays,” Kupp mentioned. “I do think we’re going to watch this film and say ‘You know, hey, we’re right there. There’s plays to be made. You know, we just have to do a better job of with those opps (opportunities) we make them count.”