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Los Angeles Rams vs. Houston Texans: John Wolford to start at QB, per McVay

A surprise move at quarterback means that L.A.’s presumed backup will get the start

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have started Bryce Perkins at quarterback for their last four preseason games and Perkins has also finished each of those games. On Friday against the Houston Texans, that plan will change.

Though Perkins will still finish the game, Rams head coach Sean McVay announced on Wednesday that presumed backup John Wolford will start against the Texans this week. It is the first time since 2019 that any Rams quarterback other than Perkins has played in a preseason game, which is also the last time that Wolford played in a preseason game.

Wolford did not play in the preseason last year, as McVay was keeping him protected for the season and giving Perkins all the reps ahead of his first season on the 53-man roster.

Whether this means that there is an open competition at backup behind Matthew Stafford remains to be seen. It could be that Wolford just really misses playing in a game (it’s been a while) or that McVay feels that it has been too long since Wolford has gotten live action.

My hunch is that this has more to do with Stafford than it does have to do with Wolford or Perkins. If the Rams have to give Wolford any spot starts this season or Stafford gets injured, it is better to avoid putting the backup in with no game action since the 2020 playoffs. Wolford played in the 2019 preseason and the final game of 2020, but he has barely seen the field in the last four years.

This will give him an opportunity to do that and it will give Perkins a chance to show out against Houston’s second half defense.