Now, we know why Sean McVay chose John Wolford to start Saturday’s playoff wild card game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Jared Goff just wasn’t healthy enough to play effectively after having thumb surgery less than two weeks ago. Yet, Goff was forced into the game when backup Wolford left the game with a neck injury in the first quarter after getting crushed by Seattle safety Jamal Adams with a helmet hit. Wolford had to get checked at a hospital, but he returned to the stadium.
While Goff was healthy enough to be active, McVay and the coaching staff decided earlier in the week that Wolford should start. Yet, when Wolford went down, Goff had to step in and it was obvious he wasn’t ready.
Yet, thanks to a dominant Los Angeles defensive effort and a strong running game, Goff was able to gut it out and be part of a memorable Rams’ 30-20 Wild Card win over the Seahawks. Goff joined the great Roger Staubach as a quarterback to come off the bench and win a playoff game.
Jared Goff said McVay made it clear to him that this was not a benching. He admits he was not thrilled when news came early this week, but he also understood why the decision was made considering the limitation of the thumb - though he does not want that to be an excuse.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) January 10, 2021
Playing at frigid Lambeau Field may not be what the doctor ordered for a freshly surgically- repaired thumb on a passing hand, but Goff isn’t going to complain. Surely he will be better prepared to play next week.
Goff completed just nine of 19 passes for 155 yards, but he did connect with wide receiver Robert Woods with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to help seal the game.
The QB had his struggles down the stretch this season, but Saturday’s ineffectiveness was clearly a product of his injury. Goff deserves a ton of credit for toughing it out and for doing enough to help his team win.
The game broadcast on Fox noted that McVay kept reminding players to congratulate Goff for good plays by bumping his left hand and not his right.
Now, the odd fist bumping will live on for another week.