With the Los Angeles Rams officially announcing that quarterback Matthew Stafford has a sprained UCL in the thumb of his throwing hand, they included a day-to-day from injury designation. While Stafford could be ready for next Sunday’s game with the Green Bay Packers, his absence, even from practice, shines a light on the lack of depth L.A. has at QB.
Backup Brett Rypien, in his fourth NFL season, will take over the first team snaps in Stafford’s absence and he’s as far as the Rams depth goes. Rookie Stetson Bennett is on the Non-Football Injury List and not expected to be back this season, leaving the Rams perilously thin in signal callers. At this current space in time, the possible pickings are pretty slim. Half of NFL teams have opted for keeping a third QB on the roster and having him active on game days with a roster waiver, further thinning the pool of candidates.
One player who won’t be in the mix is former-Ram John Wolford, who was reportedly expected to be poached from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad. Wolford nixed the move back to the West Coast, preferring to stay in Florida.
While the Rams were expecting to sign QB John Wolford off the Bucs practice squad, they were informed tonight that Wolford prefers to stay in Tampa Bay with the Bucs, per sources.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) October 31, 2023
So who’s left?
On the surface, in any addition to the Rams QB room would be on a short-term, semi-emergency basis. Unless Stafford has deeper injury problems (undisclosed) than the thumb, this sounds like a one or two week gig. At best, the role would likely be as a backup and then released and re-signed to the Rams practice squad (PS), if at all.
The role would and time span of need would lead one to conclude that the added player should have some NFL experience. This is not a case of combing through candidates for developmental skills and looking towards the future, it’s about finding someone to plug in and play as an emergency NFL backup.
These parameters would likely preclude a rookie PS poach. Trevor Siemian with the New York Jets has the most NFL experience with 30 starts. Other possibilities are A.J. McCarron from the Cincinnati Bengals With 17 games and four starts or David Blough from the Detroit Lions with nine games and seven starts. Both would have ties to the Rams through their coaches/management.
If the Rams would decide on a big splash signing akin to last year’s inking of Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz is out there. With the Minnesota Vikings Kirk Cousins out for the rest of the year, Wentz may be able to position himself in a bidding war. That’s a war the Rams cannot win and shouldn’t try to. Other possibilities are perennial backups Colt McCoy, Nick Foles, and Chase Daniel.
If it’s truly a short-term deal, maybe Dresser Winn, the camp arm from training camp could come in as emergency insurance. Or how about another go-round with Bryce Perkins. Both are familiar with the system, be dirt-cheap to sign, and could be easily let go when the time comes. Whichever way the Rams decide to go, it will likely be someone who has a relationship with past Rams coaches or the current staff.