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Why Cooks should be easier to replace than Kupp last year...

November 07, 2019 07:24AM
Why Brandin Cooks should be easier to replace than Cooper Kupp last year

[theramswire.usatoday.com]

Cameron DaSilva

Brandin Cooks has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Steelers after suffering his second concussion of the season in Week 8 against the Bengals. Cooks is seeing specialists in Pittsburgh and remains in the concussion protocol with no exact timetable to return.

Sean McVay said Cooks is making progress and there haven’t been any setbacks, but the fact that he remains in the protocol nearly two weeks after the concussion occurred is concerning. Understandably, the Rams will play it extra safe with Cooks, who has had four documented concussions in the last two years. McVay isn’t sure when he’ll return, but Cooks certainly won’t be rushed back.

This is the second year in a row the Rams have had to replace a starting wide receiver in the lineup. Last season, it was Cooper Kupp missing eight games and the entire playoff run. Josh Reynolds filled in for Kupp during his absence, but not directly.

With Kupp out, Robert Woods moved into the slot more often, which allowed Reynolds to play outside opposite Cooks. The offense took a big hit because Woods is better as a boundary receiver than he is in the slot.

With Cooks out, it’ll be an easier swap with Reynolds. They’re both primarily outside receivers, which essentially makes it a one-for-one switch. Last year, there was a trickle-down effect with Woods having to move, too.

On Wednesday, Goff talked about how Reynolds can play both outside spots without mentioning the slot.

“He’s a guy that can play both positions, ‘X’ and ‘Z’, and has in the past and we’ve moved him around,” Goff said. “For him to be able to do that, not only this past game we played, but like you mentioned last year, in that Seattle game, he jumped right in and then played most of the rest of the year and has done it consistently. He’s a guy who I have as much confidence in as anybody on our team. I get excited once he gets his chance.”

This isn’t to say Reynolds can’t line up inside; he did against the Bengals and scored a 31-yard touchdown. However, he’s better as the X or Z receiver, just as Cooks is.

Sean McVay said Reynolds will be the next man up with Cooks out, expressing confidence in the young receiver.

“We move guys around, but he’s the next guy up in terms of what he did in Cooper’s absence last year,” McVay said. “I thought just saw immediately, the one thing you do feel really good about, you hate to see any of your players injured, but when Brandin gets hurt so early in the Cincinnati game, you operate in the exact same way that we would have had Brandin played because of the confidence we have in (WR) Josh (Reynolds). He can do a lot of different things. I think you see him maximize the opportunities that he did have with two big catches down the field.”

Again, Cooks won’t be an easy player to replace. But given the position he and Reynolds both play, this transition should be far cleaner than the switch Los Angeles had to make when Kupp went down with his torn ACL last year.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  Why Cooks should be easier to replace than Kupp last year...

Rams43144November 07, 2019 07:24AM

  Yep. The drop-off from Cooks being out is less than when Kupp went out

RockRam34November 07, 2019 07:46AM

  More 2 TE sets?

promomasterj39November 07, 2019 08:20AM

  Good question....

JamesJM33November 07, 2019 09:15AM

  Re: Good question....

idaram30November 07, 2019 09:22AM

  I fear it's systemic more than player related...

JamesJM35November 07, 2019 09:29AM

  How bout more 2 back sets

joram17November 09, 2019 02:37AM