Greg Zuerlein ended last season on IR, but he’s been able to avoid that list so far this season despite suffering a groin injury. Zuerlein suffered the injury during warmups in Week 2 and hasn’t played or practiced since.
The Rams have said that they don’t plan to put Zuerlein on IR at any point, so they must expect him to miss less than 8 weeks of time. Groin injuries are especially tricky for kickers, and the recovery times can range anywhere from 4-8 weeks depending on the severity. Zuerlein is likely dealing with a grade 2 groin strain, which suggests partial tearing.
Coach Sean McVay had hoped that Zuerlein could make his return this weekend, but announced earlier this week that he is still “another week away.” Our Optimal Recovery Time is in line with McVay’s timeline. Zuerlein’s Elevated Injury Risk means he would still be at risk if he were to play this week, but his Above Average Health Performance Factor suggests he’s getting close. The earliest return date would be Week 7 against the 49ers.
Zuerlein ended last season on IR with a back injury, but that injury came at the very end of the season, suggesting that putting him on IR was more about freeing up a roster spot than a serious injury. Zuerlein dealt with a groin strain back in 2015 that held him out for a game, but has otherwise been relatively healthy.
With Cairo Santos as backup, the Rams can afford to be cautious with Zuerlein as he recovers.