Cooper Kupp's LA Rams Comeback Delayed, Keeps Eyes on 'Crown That Lasts Forever'
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Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is ready to return to the game after recouping from a season-ending ankle injury in 2022.
The NFL star and outspoken Christian spent his summer recovering and also welcomed his third child, Solas Reign Kupp, in June.
He quoted Numbers 6:24-25 writing, "Born into his mother's arms, we are so thankful for the blessing of this third little soul we get to raise up into a man of God! 'The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.'"
After the birth of his son, Kupp said he was "feeling really good" about his rehab and return.
But reports early this week said he may not be ready for the team's regular-season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 10.
"I think we just take it a day at a time right now," Coach Sean McVay said. "We want to be able to get him back right. We're obviously a much better team when he's available."
"There's a difference between return to play and return to performance," McVay added. "We want return to performance for Cooper Kupp. We know how special a player, special of a person, and so we want to make sure we are smart with that and getting him back to feeling like the Cooper Kupp we all know and that he's able to play the way that he's capable of, whenever that is. Whether that is Sept. 10th or not, we'll continue to monitor that and control what we can control."
Kupp was named the MVP of Super Bowl LVI, but missed the final eight games of 2022 with a high ankle sprain, ESPN reports.
Despite the setbacks, Kupp has always made it clear that his focus is on God, highlighting 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 on his social media platforms and starting an apparel line that boasts "get a crown that lasts forever."
In a 2019 interview with CBN, Kupp shared that he learned to rely on God when he tore his ACL in 2018.
"I needed God," he said. "I needed to trust in 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 year, he also shared that he spent his recovery time seeking the Lord.
"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.
From a young age, Kupp learned that God is first – no matter what.
His father, Craig Kupp, a former NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals in the early 90s, raised him to dedicate every game, whether he wins or loses, to God.
In a 2016 interview with The Yakima Herald, Craig Kupp said, "It's part of who we are. Our relationship with Jesus is the center of our life."
It is the same for his wife, Anna Marie, who has stood by his side since their sophomore year in high school.
She has continually used her social media platform to worship God.
"Thank you Yahweh for the thousands of smiles, laughs, tears, hugs, and kisses. The joy that each moment brought. Time is precious and fleeting," Anna Marie wrote last year. "This year I sought to slow life down, to release things and people not serving me. It was the greatest gift. Here's to more release and love in 2023."
This will be Kupp's seventh season with the Rams, and although the start of the season is not what he had hoped for, he thanks God for the privilege to play the game he loves.
"God is good. On the mountains and in the valleys, He has been with us every step of the way. While we have been afforded the privilege to play such an amazing game, it is with humility we know each moment here is intentional, albeit temporary," he recently shared. "We pray each day to be a light in this world, filled and guided by His Spirit, and to make the most of every day according to His will. For His Glory!"
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