The Los Angeles Rams made it a family affair on May 15 when they signed Ketner Kupp. The Eastern Washington University linebacker is the younger brother of slot receiver Cooper Kupp. The Rams’ decision to sign Ketner may give Cooper a boost in morale. Currently, he is rehabilitating his knee after a season-ending ACL tear. Cooper is inching his way closer to a return, limiting his organized team activities (OTAs).
The younger Kupp comes into the franchise standing at 6 foot and weighing 225 pounds. He finished at EWU with 267 tackles, 3 sacks, one deflection and one interception. He started at strong-side linebacker as a senior where he led the team in tackles. Ketner’s leadership skills are noted after being named co-captain in 2018.
Ketner did tryout for the San Francisco 49ers, but did not earn a contract. Adding Ketner to the mix of linebackers will be interesting since the depth chart is far from set. The exit of Mark Barron left a hole to fill inside. The addition of Clay Matthews may fill that role. Matthews’s veteran leadership may be useful to younger players like Kupp. Mathews does have experience both inside and outside too. Kupp does have a number of mentors at his disposal, so he will need to learn quickly.
Having both Kupp brothers on the roster may be beneficial if they play well on a consistent level. We’re already aware of what we have in Cooper Kupp. Cooper did earn 40 catches for 556 yards and six touchdowns before his season-ending injury. That said, the Rams hope to have him back in action for the 2019. Ketner will have to prove himself in OTAs and training camp to see how he compares to the long list of linebackers attempting to make the roster. Cooper says he has faith in his younger brother’s future success.
EWU and Kupp Family
Ketner’s signing makes a total of five EWU Eagle standouts on the Rams. Along with the Kupp brothers, outside linebacker Samson Ebukam, center Aaron Neary and receiver Nsimba Webster come from the EWU pipeline.
Speaking of a family affair, the Kupps come from a multi-generational NFL family. Their father, quarterback Craig Kupp, was drafted by the New York Giants in 1990 and played briefly for the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys. Their grandfather, offensive lineman Jake Kupp, was drafted by the Cowboys in 1964 where he played for the Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.