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Week 9 injury watch: Rams' Cooper Kupp set to return

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  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn NFL.com
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The Los Angeles Rams don't want for much these days, having won every game during the first half of the season. Their offense has put up outrageous numbers, averaging 33 points per contest, and looks nearly unstoppable at the halfway point. The unit could look even better Sunday when Cooper Kupp makes his expected return.

Sidelined the past two weeks with a knee injury, Kupp has made enough progress for the Rams to remove him from the injury report. That means the team's other wideouts can return to their normal roles within the offense, a terrifying proposition for the rest of the league.

Though Kupp's status for Week 9 appears certain, other situations around the league don't seem quite as settled.

Bears: Allen Robinson (groin) - Allen Robinson entered last Sunday as a game-time decision, ultimately falling on the wrong side of the inactive list. The Bears' top wideout faces another weekend of uncertainty, with the team listing him as questionable to suit up against the Bills. Should Robinson miss another week, look for tight end Trey Burton (nine catches for 126 yards and a score last week) and Tarik Cohen (eight for 69 and a score) to see plenty of targets again.

Broncos: Royce Freeman (ankle) - Officially questionable, Royce Freeman could yield further ground to fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay. The undrafted Lindsay has emerged as the Broncos' lead back, receiving 15 or more touches each of the past two games. Even if Freeman plays, Lindsay controls the backield.

Dolphins: Kenny Stills (groin) - After missing practice earlier in the week, Kenny Stills made his return Friday in both individual and team drills. That activity suggests that the wideout has a strong chance of playing Sunday against the visiting Jets. However, with Ryan Tannehill set to miss the game, Brock Osweiler will serve as Stills' quarterback.

Panthers: Torrey Smith (knee) - Already, the Panthers have ruled out Torrey Smith for a second consecutive week, this time against the division-rival Buccaneers. This could spell big things for rookie wideout D.J. Moore who comes off the biggest game of his young career (129 yards from scrimmage). Moore could put together an even more impressive performance against the struggling Tampa Bay pass defense.

Patriots: Julian Edelman (ankle), Josh Gordon (hamstring), Rob Gronkowski (back), Sony Michel (knee) - Several prominent members of the Patriots' passing game enter the weekend as questionable, though it doesn't appear Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon or Rob Gronkowski will ultimately sit out Sunday's tilt with the Packers. Meanwhile, running back Sony Michel looks more legitimately questionable after missing Week 8 with a knee injury, though he practiced Friday in a limited capacity. If Michel can't go, wideout Cordarrelle Patterson expects to see some action in the backfield.

Rams: Cooper Kupp (knee) - Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed Thursday that Cooper Kupp will return from his multi-week injury absence. Barring a setback, Kupp will man the slot in Los Angeles' offense, leaving Robert Woods free to spend more time along the boundary.

Ravens: Alex Collins (foot) - Alex Collins participated in practice Friday after sitting out the day before. Even so, the Ravens listed the running back as questionable, casting at least some doubt as to his availability. Collins has seen Javorius Allen vulture numerous scoring opportunities already this season, and his injury situation could push Baltimore to go down that road again Sunday.

Redskins: Chris Thompson (ribs) - An injury-plagued 2018 continues for Chris Thompson, whom Washington has already ruled out in advance of an NFC showdown with the Falcons. Whenever Thompson returns, he will likely see fewer opportunities given the recent dominant play of the ageless Adrian Peterson.

Vikings: Dalvin Cook (hamstring), Stefon Diggs (ribs) - Dalvin Cook, officially questionable, hasn't played since a disappointing appearance in the Vikings' Week 4 matchup with the Rams. With the bye coming next week, perhaps Minnesota will err on the side of caution and keep Cook inactive. As for Stefon Diggs, a rib injury has kept him from practicing all week. His outlook similarly looks grim.

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