The NFL requires teams to publish preseason depth charts. The NFL doesn’t require teams to put any actual, you know, thought or effort into the process.
Case in point: The Rams’ unofficial depth chart has one punt returner, receiver Cooper Kupp. Coach Sean McVay was asked about that on Thursday.
“I didn’t see that depth chart if we did,” McVay said. “He won’t be our punt returner.”
The depth chart also shows Kupp as one of the teams starting receivers; we assume he’ll fill that role. The other first-string receivers are Robert Woods and a co-starter situation with DeSean Jackson and Van Jefferson.
McVay was asked whether Jackson and equally speedy rookie Tutu Atwell (listed as a third-stringer behind Jackson and Jefferson) could be on the field together. McVay gave a meandering answer.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can run,” McVay said. “There’s a lot of players that make plays down the field. The first thing, like I’ve said all along, is it starts with calling plays that give guys an opportunity to do that. So, I definitely have to make sure that I’m cognizant of that, but those two guys in particular definitely have juice and depending upon the personnel groupings that we’re activating, they could both be on the field at the same time, could be one of them, they could both be waiting to get in, so they’re definitely added elements and that’s one of those traits that they both possess. It’s pretty unique and special, but they’re also a lot of other good things that they do.”
In other words, it will happen or it won’t.
Elsewhere, Darrell Henderson is the starting running back, given the season-ending injury suffered last month by Cam Akers. The depth chart has two backups (neither of which is Cooper Kupp): Xavier Jones and Jake Funk.