Cooper Kupp avoids structural damage after injuring ankle on meaningless play

Los Angeles Rams fans and Cooper Kupp fantasy managers can breath easy.

Kupp avoided structural damage when he injured his right ankle against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Rams head coach Sean McVay announced on Monday that Kupp is experiencing soft tissue swelling, but expects the All-Pro receiver to be ready for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I think he'll be OK," McVay said, per the Rams website.

Kupp injured his ankle on the Rams' final drive in Sunday's 31-14 loss. The Rams ran a screen pass for Kupp on third-and-4 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and his ankle was injured on the tackle.

The injury left Kupp down on the field for several moments, prompting concerns that it might have been serious.

He was seen after the game walking with a limp and a wrap around his injured ankle. McVay told reporters he was "kicking myself" for calling Kupp's number instead of running the ball on a meaningless play with the game's outcome already determined.

But Kupp avoided serious damage and could be ready for Sunday's playoff rematch against the Bucs. The game is critical for both teams as the Rams (3-4) and Bucs (3-5) are already in a fight for their playoff lives after meeting in last season's NFC divisional round. The Rams beat the then-defending champion Bucs in a 30-27 thriller en route to their own Super Bowl championship.

Kupp is key to the Rams' success. After leading the NFL in receiving yardage and touchdowns last season he's fifth in the league this season with 686 yards and five touchdowns through seven games. He's the only Rams wide receiver with more than 300 yards.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp warms up prior to an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Cooper Kupp avoided a significant ankle injury. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)