Rams-Seahawks takeaways: Cooper Kupp is injured again; Derion Kendrick recovers

The Rams' Lucas Havrisik celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Seahawks.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 17-16, on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

What we learned from the victory that improved the Rams’ record to 4-6:


Star receiver Cooper Kupp suffered another injury

Rams' Cooper Kupp catches a short pass and runs past Seattle's Quandre Diggs (6).
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)


It’s been a tough season for the 2021 NFL offensive player of the year. Kupp left the field during the first half because of an ankle injury and did not play in the second half.

It is the latest setback for the Rams star, who in 2022 suffered a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery.

Kupp started this season on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury. He returned in Week 5 and caught passes for more than 100 yards in each of his first two games.

He has struggled since.

Kupp went into the game against the Seahawks with only eight catches for 98 yards in the previous three games. On Sunday, he had one reception for 11 yards.


Matthew Stafford still has thumb issues

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford eyes pressure from Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford eyes pressure from Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Stafford engineered two late-scoring drives to win the game, but the 15th-year pro said he still is not at 100% because of the right thumb sprain suffered against Dallas on Oct. 29.


Stafford had sat out the last game against the Green Bay Packers.

“I’m not 100%, but I’m good enough to go out there and make some plays,” he said, adding, “There’s some I missed … that have nothing to do with that.”

Stafford completed 17 of 31 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.

Stafford has passed for nine touchdowns this season, with eight interceptions.


Cornerback Derion Kendrick came up big

Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner (91) celebrates after cornerback Derion Kendrick (1) intercepted a pass.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Kendrick, a second-year pro, got his first career interception when he picked off a long pass by Seahawks backup quarterback Drew Lock. The turnover set up what proved to be the game-winning field goal.

Kendrick, a sixth-round pick in 2022, started six games as a rookie. He made multiple plays on the ball but missed several chances for interceptions.

This season has been a struggle on and off the field.

If the Rams hope to take the next step and battle for a playoff spot, they will need more players such as Derion Kendrick to step up and make big plays.

Nov. 20, 2023


Kendrick faces two misdemeanor gun charges for an October arrest in Hollywood. (His arraignment was postponed to Dec. 5). He briefly lost his starting job the week of the incident, and then lost it again after playing poorly against the Dallas Cowboys, but Kendrick was back in the lineup against the Seahawks.

He drew an unnecessary roughness penalty in the first quarter, but came back and made the defensive play of the game.


Lucas Havrisik made a pressure-packed kick

Havrisik has been with the Rams for just three games, but he did not flinch in his first game-winning opportunity. Havrisik’s 22-yard field goal with 1 minute, 31 seconds left provided the final margin.

Havrisik has made four of five field-goal attempts since replacing Brett Maher.


Bobby Brown III, Ernest Jones return with flourish

Brown came off injured reserve and made an immediate impact. The third-year pro combined with linebacker Ernest Jones to sack Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith in the third quarter.

It was the first career sack for Brown. Jones returned to the lineup after sitting out against Green Bay because of a knee injury. He recorded a team-best 12 tackles.


Royce Freeman, Darrell Henderson ran hard

With Kyren Williams not eligible to return from injured reserve until next Sunday against Arizona, Freeman seized the opportunity and rushed for 73 yards in 17 carries.

Henderson rushed for a six-yard touchdown and caught four passes for 28 yards.

Stafford missed a wide-open Henderson on a sideline route that would have resulted in a long gain, possibly a touchdown.