The FOX National Game of the Week features a rematch of this past winter’s NFC title game, but with both teams disappointing backers this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium with kickoff set for 4:25 p.m. ET. The Bucs are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook with the total set at 42.5.
The Rams are 3-4 and in third place in the NFC West while the Bucs are 3-5 and in second place in the NFC South. The teams came in as Super Bowl contenders, but neither has been able to get anything going. The Rams have lost three of their last four while the Bucs are riding a three-game losing streak.
The Rams face two significant issues. Cooper Kupp got back to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday due to his ankle injury, but his status will be something to track into Sunday. We can expect him to play, but the ankle will be a concern. Other positive news is Cam Akers returned to practice after missing practice and play in Week 6 and 8 (with a Week 7 bye) due to ... reasons. It was reported he wanted out but Akers has pushed back on that narrative.
The Bucs continue to deal with a variety of injuries. Wide receiver Russell Gage is sidelined with a hamstring injury, while guard Luke Goedeke has been absent with a foot injury.
Rams injury report: Week 9
LB Jacob Hummel (hip)
C Brian Allen (knee)
WR Van Jefferson (knee)
Bucs injury report: Week 9
TE Cameron Brate (neck)
WR Russell Gage (hamstring)
G Luke Goedeke (foot)
S Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion)
CB Carlton Davis (hip)
DL Akiem Hicks (foot)
CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad)
Fantasy football impact
Cooper Kupp seems on track to return. He might be limited to some degree, but if he’s playing, you’re starting him in your fantasy lineups. The bigger question is what to make of Cam Akers and the Rams backfield. Ronnie Rivers ended up with more work than Darrell Henderson last week and Henderson really hasn’t done anything to suggest he should have the starting role locked down. This could easily turn into a committee approach that doesn’t help anybody.
On the wide receiver side, Julio Jones will be back in action and Gage’s injury could open the door for a little more work for the veteran. He remains behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but there’s some deeper flex value there.