Cooper Kupp is back, and he’s better than ever.
He’s also back in his home state of Washington.
Kupp and the Los Angeles Rams (3-1) visit NFC West rival Seattle (3-1) on Thursday, a 5:20 p.m. CenturyLink Field kickoff 142 miles west from the trusty receiver’s hometown of Yakima.
The former Eastern Washington star has made a resounding comeback from a 2018 season-ending knee injury he sustained against the Seahawks in Week 10, forcing him to miss the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl.
Kupp, who shattered plenty of EWU and Football Championship Subdivision records, is off to a Pro Bowl-like start in 2019.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s favorite target, Kupp ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards (388) and fourth in receptions (32). He has three touchdowns.
In his four previous games against Seattle, Kupp has totaled 22 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown.
The third-round NFL draft pick isn’t the only former EWU star boosting the Rams.
After starting the last two seasons at pass-rushing weakside linebacker, Samson Ebukam, also a 2017 draft pick, has been listed as a second-teamer on the Rams’ depth chart. He has eight tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Five ex-Eagles littered the Rams’ 90-man roster this summer before the roster cut down to 53 on Aug. 31.
Kupp’s younger brother, linebacker Ketner Kupp, was signed as a rookie free agent in May but was released last month.
Aaron Neary was a center on the Rams’ practice squad the last three years and, due to injuries, was elevated to No. 2 on the Rams’ depth chart during the preseason. But a season-ending ankle injury derailed Neary’s hopes of sticking onto the 53-man roster. He was waived with an injury settlement, weeks after the NFL suspended him for four games due for breaking the league’s substance abuse policy.
The feel-good story of out Rams training camp was the signing of ex-EWU star receiver Nsimba Webster, an undrafted rookie who shined in preseason games and earned a spot on the team’s 53-man roster.
Webster was inactive for the Rams’ first four games. It’s unclear if he’ll play Thursday against the Seahawks and earn the first regular-season snaps of his career.