In advance of a possible must-win Week 17 game in order to advance to the playoffs, the Los Angeles Rams placed top wide receiver Cooper Kupp on the COVID-19/reserve list and signed veteran quarterback Blake Bortles to serve as a backup.
The Rams could have secured a playoff spot with victories in either of their previous two games, but lost both, including one to the previously winless Jets. Now they face the Arizona Cardinals at home Sunday, with the season possibly on the line.
Kupp has been an integral part of an offense that has struggled of late. He has a team-best 92 receptions for 974 yards and three touchdowns.
The team has not said if Kupp tested positive or was in close contact with somebody who did. He is in self-quarantine and could possibly play Sunday if it was a close-contact situation and he later tests negative for COVID-19, while not showing symptoms.
If Kupp does play, he will be catching passes from backup quarterback John Wolford, who has never taken a snap in a regular-season game. Wolford is replacing starter Jared Goff, who had thumb surgery this week and was ruled out of Sunday’s game.
Bortles was signed off the Denver Broncos practice squad but is expected to be the third-string option behind Wolford and Bryce Perkins.
After five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bortles spent last season with the Rams but saw action on just 11 snaps in three games with one 3-yard completion on two pass attempts.
The Rams will be without running back Darrell Henderson (ankle), who was placed on injured reserve, and could be without running back Cam Akers (ankle) as well after the rookie did not play in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Rams can reach the playoffs with a victory over the Cardinals or a Chicago Bears loss to the Green Bay Packers.
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