ATLANTA — To miss a Tremendous Bowl consequently of of an pains is tainted ample. To possess it happen to your first Tremendous Bowl appears to be like particularly cruel. In the case of Cooper Kupp, the standout slot receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, it’s extra special to remark whether or no longer the pains this weekend will be better for him or for his crew.
Kupp, 25, entered his second season as one among the Rams’ high three vast receivers, alongside Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, nonetheless in the crew’s 5-Zero initiate he emerged as the one quarterback Jared Goff would sight when things purchased particularly advanced. Kupp earned that belief by catching seventy five p.c of the passes thrown his methodology and scoring five touchdowns in those five games.
But on Sunday, as the Rams strive to beat the New England Patriots and buy the franchise’s first championship since the 1999 season, Kupp will be diminished to a spectator. A knee sprain rate him most of Weeks 6 via eight and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he sustained in Week 10, ended his season. Several high-profile gamers, adore Carson Wentz, Von Miller and Jeremy Shockey, possess discovered themselves in the identical site in fresh years, all feeling a deep sense of loss even as they tried to fragment their teammates’ pleasure.
Kupp, a third-know-how N.F.L. player — his grandfather, Jake, turned into a guard in the Sixties and Seventies, and his father, Craig, a backup quarterback in the early 1990s — has a selection of emotional reinforce, and while he is staying away from the crew’s gracious media appearances this week, he is with the Rams in Atlanta, which is no longer always a given for injured gamers.
While Los Angeles mute has a selection of stars on offense, there isn’t any longer any getting round what the crew lost when Kupp went down for the season.
The numbers are moderately stark. Goff had finished Sixty eight.four p.c of his passes via Week 10 and had a passer ranking of 113. In the six authorized-season games Goff played after Kupp’s pains, those numbers were diminished to Fifty nine.eight p.c and 83.9.
Cooks and Woods remained viable threats, nonetheless the shuffling of roles created some disarray, and Josh Reynolds, who stepped in as the third receiver, would possibly perchance maybe presumably well no longer match Kupp’s reliability. There turned into a technique that without Kupp, the Rams went from invincible to merely substantial.
Coach Sean McVay put things moderately bluntly to reporters quickly after Kupp’s pains. “Anytime you lose a player of Cooper’s caliber and what he’s meant to our offense, you don’t replace guys adore that,” McVay said.
However the Rams are in the Tremendous Bowl anyway. Woods, who has largely assumed Kupp’s role in the offense, said he felt it turned into vital for Kupp to be included in every part leading up the game consequently of he is a astronomical cause the crew purchased this a long way. Woods has a moderately uncomplicated thought about how the Rams can fabricate up for the frustration that Kupp undoubtedly feels: “We’ve purchased to rep him a ring.”
Gamers miss the Tremendous Bowl as a outcomes of injuries every body year. Some stars possess made it again to the astronomical game; assorted possess no longer. Here’s a stare at some assorted high-profile gamers who needed to tackle being sidelined of their first shot at the sport’s final honor.
Tremendous Bowl LII
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ bustle to a Tremendous Bowl victory over the Patriots final one year turned into fueled by outrage about being declared underdogs, in huge share consequently of Wentz, the Philadelphia quarterback and a candidate for the N.F.L.’s Most Treasured Participant Award, turned into lost for the season after he tore a knee ligament in Week Thirteen. With Wentz, the Eagles had been regarded as a fave to buy the championship.
In the weeks leading up to the Eagles’ Forty one-33 triumph over New England, the gamers and coaches rallied round the backup quarterback, Slash Foles, wearing rubber dog masks and relishing the muse that no one believed in them. Wentz did his simplest to challenge happiness for his teammates’ Cinderella myth, while no longer making an strive to screen his possess frustration.
“Every time the offense comes on the subject on Sunday, it’s advanced,” Wentz said of the games he skipped over. “It hits me a little bit of bit. But then I’m in it. I adore these guys, and I’m a aspect of this crew as mighty as any one else.”
The perception turned into that Wentz would step again into his role as the crew’s initiating quarterback this season and that Philadelphia is seemingly to be even stronger. As a substitute, the Eagles slipped into the playoffs in the again of Foles, no longer Wentz, who turned into sidelined by a fractured vertebra after Week 14. Foles and the crew lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Eagles possess emphatically committed to Wentz going forward, nonetheless his absence from a second playoff bustle muddied the waters considerably for the crew’s followers.
Tremendous Bowl XLVIII
Von Miller, Denver Broncos
That Miller’s career survived the 2013 season is mute a thing of shock. The No. 2 grab in the 2011 draft, Miller turned into phenomenal in his first two seasons, totaling 30 sacks. The skin linebacker started his third season beneath suspension after violating the N.F.L.’s substance abuse policy and ended it by tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his appropriate knee in Week sixteen. He turned into gradually accused of being a distraction, and he needed to request from the sidelines as his teammates were trounced by the Seahawks, forty three-eight, in the Tremendous Bowl.
Masses of gamers possess had their careers derailed by same components, nonetheless Miller, with reinforce from his household and his crew, discovered a technique to rep again no longer off beam.
It took Miller accurate two seasons to rep one other shot at the Tremendous Bowl.
“It’s one other likelihood at greatness,” he said of his crew making it to Tremendous Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers three years in the past. “It doesn’t approach round usually. We purchased one other likelihood.”
Tremendous Bowl XLV
Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers had obtained two Tremendous Bowls in the earlier five seasons and were looking out adore one thing of a dynasty. Drafting 18th in 2010, the crew chosen Pouncey, a center who stepped in as a starter from Day 1 and earned a Pro Bowl space for his mighty play.
Pouncey, who turned into accurate 21 at the time, turned into no longer off beam to alter into one among the youngest starters in Tremendous Bowl historical past, nonetheless he injured an ankle in Pittsburgh’s buy over the Jets in the A.F.C. championship game, forcing the Steelers to spin to replace him.
“I remark we possess two weeks to maybe strive to fool each person and rep Maurkice’s brother in here and no one would know,” Ben Roethlisberger said in reference to Maurkice’s twin brother, Mike, additionally an N.F.L. lineman. Roethlisberger added, “I don’t mediate that’s going to work.”
The Steelers in the extinguish lost the Tremendous Bowl, 31-25, to Aaron Rodgers and the Inexperienced Bay Packers, and Pouncey, without reference to a nine-one year career that has included two first-crew All-Pro decisions and seven Pro Bowl decisions, has but to rep one other likelihood at the astronomical game.
Tremendous Bowl XLII
Jeremy Shockey, Giants
Shockey turned into in his sixth one year with the Giants when the crew all of sudden made a bustle to the Tremendous Bowl in the 2007 season. Shockey had been a key share of the crew’s offense from his first day in the N.F.L., averaging Sixty two catches and 705 yards a season from the tight stay site, nonetheless his 2007 season ended when he broke his fibula in Week 15.
Some pundits said the Giants played better without the brash tight stay, an evaluate that didn’t sit correctly with Mathias Kiwanuka, a defensive stay who additionally skipped over the crew’s dramatic 17-14 upset of the previously undefeated Patriots.
“That man, he put his heart and soul into the group for a truly very long time,” Kiwanuka said. “He turned into a vocal leader, an vitality man, and he turned into more or less the face and bid of this crew for a truly very long time. So for guys to remark, and of us here to remark, we are without him as a player, it stings a lot, particularly whenever you happen to play as extra special as he did.”
Shockey never played for the Giants again. The crew traded him to the New Orleans Saints in the off-season. Things turned into out gorgeous for all sides: Shockey caught a touchdown lumber for the Saints of their Tremendous Bowl XLIV buy, and the Giants upset the Patriots again in Tremendous Bowl XLVI.