Rams don’t know when receiver Cooper Kupp will return

A game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday is the last one that Rams star receiver Cooper Kupp is mandated to sit out because he is on injured reserve.

But there is no guarantee that Kupp will return from his hamstring injury for the Oct. 8 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coach Sean McVay said Wednesday it is “the hope” that Kupp will play against the Eagles but stopped short of proclaiming it a done deal.

“He’s progressing, he’s doing a good job,” McVay said. “But I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. He’s ramping up his workload … but when you’re talking about returning to performance and returning to play, those are different things.

“And we want him to be able to return to performance at the level he’s capable of. … Hopefully next week will represent that.”

The Rams, who lost to the Bengals on Monday night in Cincinnati, are 1-2 heading into the game against the Colts. After playing the Eagles, the Rams will play the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 15 in an NFC West game at SoFi Stadium.

Rookie Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell and Van Jefferson have been the starting receivers for an offense that scored only one touchdown in the 19-16 defeat to the Bengals.

Nacua got off to a record-setting start in the first two games and Atwell has performed well. Jefferson overcame a slow start in the first two games and caught a long pass against the Bengals.

So the Rams are eager for Kupp to return.

The 2021 NFL offensive player of the year suffered a season-ending ankle injury last year. Early in training camp, he suffered the hamstring injury that caused him to be placed on injured reserve.

“Any time that you’re able to get a player of his caliber back, that will be a boost to our offense,” McVay said. “Figuring out exactly all the moving pieces — those are things that you think about in the back of your head a little bit. …

“Sometimes you can get a little bit ahead of yourself. And so we’ll deal with those things but hopefully the first thing is he’s ready to go, then the next part is let’s figure out how we piece and puzzle that together with some of the things that are going on offensively.”

Quarterback Matthew Stafford also sounded noncommittal about when Kupp might return but the addition of Kupp’s receiving and leadership skills obviously would elevate the offense..

“I don’t know when that’s going to be for him,” Stafford said, adding, “The more depth you can have at a position like that the better.”