Receiver Cooper Kupp was really starting to find a groove with L.A. Rams quarterback Jared Goff in 2018, but a knee injury in Week 6 forced him to sit out until Week 9. Then in Week 10, a torn ACL in the previously-injured knee ended his season, forcing him to watch Super Bowl LIII from the sidelines.
A 26-year-old third-round pick out of Eastern Washington in 2017, Kupp put in work all offseason to get ready for 2019. After three regular-season games, he’s officially back.
Kupp caught a career-high 11 catches Sunday night against Cleveland, two of which went for the only touchdowns the Rams scored in their 20-13 victory. Kupp totaled 102 yards on the night, giving him a team-best 268 receiving yards for the year. The defending NFC-champion Rams are 3-0, and again looking like the team to beat in the NFC.
“It mostly was Jared being able to stay alive in the pocket and making some great throws in tight windows,” Kupp said after the game. “He has a lot of trust in me, being in the right place at the right time.”
Kupp is back on the field and making an impact again because of his arduous training. He said he decided early on to simply accept what happened — a season-ending knee injury — and put together a plan to move forward.
— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) August 5, 2019
While he was working hard in rehab, Kupp was also growing spiritually. Raised in Washington in a Christian family, Kupp sought the Lord during his time away from football.
“Being able to every day find that joy in life that only comes from the Spirit — there’s growth happening,” Kupp said in the 2019 Football Sunday film.
Kupp turned his eyes to the Lord immediately after the injury:
Rejoice in your suffering, for through suffering comes perseverance! Thank you all for your prayers, we are blessed by your covering. I refuse to be defeated! God is GOOD! #EyesAbove pic.twitter.com/UrzcoBPbEb
— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) October 16, 2018
Kupp hails from a family with football heritage. Cooper’s grandfather, Jake Kupp, played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. His dad, Craig, also was drafted into the NFL in 1990 by the New York Giants, and had stints with the Phoenix Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys.
Equally as important is the family’s faith in Jesus Christ.
“It’s part of who we are,” Craig told the Yakima Herald in 2016. “Our relationship with Jesus is the center of our life.”
Added Jake, “You have to rely on a strength greater than yourself.”
“Knowing where your identity is and knowing that as much as I want to be a football player and I strive to be that, I’m so much more than that,” Cooper said in 2017. “This life is temporary but there’s such great things ahead. No matter what the naysayers say, no matter what anyone tells me, I know that my identity is in Christ and nothing can take me off of that.”
— Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp lives for Christ while shining on the football field
— Rams’ Brandin Cooks gives glory, honor to God after Super Bowl LIII loss
— NEW PODCAST: Kevin Nickerson, Los Angeles Rams Team Chaplain