The Los Angeles Rams have named John Wolford the starting quarterback as they prepare for their Week 13 matchup against the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks, according to head coach Sean McVay. Matthew Stafford has been cleared of the NFL’s concussion protocol, but has been ruled out for this game.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Stafford’s return this season remains, at best, uncertain.”
Rams’ QB John Wolford will start Sunday vs. Seattle.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2022
Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford has cleared concussion protocol but HC Sean McVay ruled him out for Sunday’s game vs. Seattle.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2022
Stafford’s return this season remains, at best, uncertain.
Wolford last started for the team back in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals. He completed 24 of 36 passes (67%) for 212 yards, a TD, and an INT - good for a traditional QB rating of 79.9. Wolford was also sacked three times and fumbled twice (losing one).
Bryce Perkins was the starting quarterback last weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs and he also replaced Stafford in the Week 11 game against the New Orleans Saints while Wolford was nursing a neck injury. Perkins is an impressive runner with the football, but the Rams have not been able to pass the ball with much success.
Wolford has been with the Rams for the last four years and has served as the primary backup for the last three, and McVay has helped the QB develop behind the scenes.
His starting opportunity against the Cardinals was his chance to reward the Rams for their belief in him over the last three to four seasons; however, Wolford was extremely erratic as a passer and seemed wholly unprepared for the moment. While Wolford could have earned long-term job security as the understudy to Stafford, his performance instead proved that the Rams failed to adequately invest in the backup quarterback position.
While being erratic as a passer is fairly excusable for a reserve quarterback in the NFL, Wolford threw the “hospital ball” that put Cooper Kupp in danger - and the receiver suffered what seems to be a season-ending injury on that play. Wolford had another pass in the Cardinals game that put Van Jefferson in harm’s way, and the receiver was momentarily banged up as well.
Wolford hurt Cooper Kupp with a shitty pass and I will never forgive him— Sidelined Rams (@sidelinedrams) November 13, 2022
The Seahawks have been porous in terms of rushing defense of late, so the Rams can set Wolford up for success by leaning on the ground attack. Cam Akers and Kyren Williams have been productive over the last couple of weeks, and the mobility of Wolford and Perkins have created space in the traditional run game.
Can John Wolford rebound against the Seattle Seahawks and prove that he can be trusted as the primary backup to Matthew Stafford moving forward?