Well, there is it. The end of a hugely disappointing season for Matthew Stafford. If only Sean McVay could say the same, but he’s got six more games left to coach.
The Los Angeles Rams placed Stafford on injured reserve on Saturday and though he is eligible to return for the final two games of the year ... he wont.
Rams are placing QB Matthew Stafford on injured reserve, effectively ending his 2022 season. Stafford will be eligible to return in Week 17 at the Chargers, but at that point, there would be little incentive to play and expose their veteran quarterback.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 3, 2022
Stafford is undoubtedly hurt and the Rams must consider the importance of making sure that he feels good when he returns in 2023. From offseason training activities to being ready for the first day of training camp, the Rams simply can’t afford to go into next year without their franchise quarterback.
But placing Stafford on injured reserve with a neck injury this week is a clear indication of “saving for next year” and it puts L.A. in a difficult position as far as trying to win any other games for the rest of this season. With John Wolford getting the start on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams will get another taste of the NFL’s worst quarterback this season on this side of maybe Davis Mills or Zach Wilson. As harsh as that may sound, it is no less true that with Wolford or Bryce Perkins, Les Snead didn’t even attempt to secure a backup to Stafford who had a high ceiling or a high floor.
Wolford and Perkins have both low ceilings and low floors. Stafford’s ceiling won the Super Bowl last season, creating the most vast disparity in the league between a starter and his two backups. Now Stafford is likely out for the final six games and the Rams have to avoid going into the offseason on an 11-game losing streak with one or both of their two backups—but quarterback is only a fraction of McVay’s issues.
Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp are on injured reserve also, unlikely to play again in 2022, and it’s only a matter of time before Jalen Ramsey gets a break.
The Rams can call it “injured reserve with designation to return” but by every meaningful account of the situation, the Rams are protecting their franchise quarterback for the rest of the season. They’re shutting him down.