Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Rams WR Cooper Kupp finds freedom in Christ during strong start to season: 'Results rest in Him'

Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been as good as any wideout in the league. He was tied for the NFL lead in receptions (16), third in receiving yards (271) and tied for second in touchdown receptions (three) at the end of Sunday’s games.

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Kupp hauled in nine passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, as they improved to 2-0 on the young season. In doing so, Kupp became the first player in franchise history with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in the first two games of a season.

In his postgame press conference, the former third-round pick out of Eastern Washington referenced Proverbs 16:9 and praised the preparation of his fellow receivers when asked if he feels underappreciated by the rest of the NFL.

“Today, the verse that was on my mind was, ‘The heart of man chooses his path but the Lord establishes his steps,'” Kupp said. “It just gave me so much freedom to go out there and play free, give everything I had [and] know the results rested in Him.”

Now in his fifth season with the Rams, Kupp has established himself as one of the team’s most reliable weapons. He averaged 93 receptions and 1,068 receiving yards over the past two years.

Kupp was on track for a similar output in 2018 until a torn ACL ended his season in Week 10. The Rams went on to reach the Super Bowl without him, losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

One of the lessons Kupp learned during the grueling rehab process from that injury was the value of having a strong support system around him.

“I needed God,” he said in a 2019 interview with CBN. “I needed to trust in what what my faith was. Just having my wife and son to be able to push me through this, my teammates, the coaching staff, the training staff, the strength staff — I just had a team around me that encouraged me and really showed me how important it was to have people around me that God’s really placed in my life.”

That support system includes a father and grandfather who played in the NFL and helped lay the foundation for his faith. His dad, Craig Kupp, was drafted by the New York Giants in 1990 and his grandfather, Jake Kupp, spent 10 seasons in the NFL.

Cooper will continue to lean on his faith as he develops even better chemistry with new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and helps L.A. try to meet the lofty expectations placed on it in 2021.

“Football is a violent sport,” Kupp told His Huddle last year. “It’s the nature of the game. In the same way, it’s also sporadic and oftentimes out of your control. I couldn’t imagine stepping onto a football field and not having a full body-mind-spirit belief that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. My faith in God and His plan for me allows me to play freely without doubt or fear.”

Up next for the Rams is a meeting with the defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday.

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