According to reports on Saturday, Rams backup quarterback Brett Rypien is expected to start in place of the injured Matthew Stafford on Sunday. There have been questions all week as to who will start for the Los Angeles Rams at quarterback in Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers and multiple sources believe Stafford is too injured to play this week.
No one would rule #Rams QB Matthew Stafford out, but sources say the plan is for QB Brett Rypien to get the start on Sunday vs the #Packers, per me and @TomPelissero. Unless Stafford (UCL sprain) surprises everyone and wakes up feeling ready, it’ll be Rypien.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 5, 2023
As Rapoport reported, Stafford hasn’t been ruled out, but the plan is for Rypien to start against the Packers. It would be a surprise to many if Stafford were to feel good enough to play on Sunday morning.
Stafford injured the UCL in his thumb last week in the loss against the Dallas Cowboys. While his thumb did come down on a Cowboys’ defender’s helmet early in the game, the Rams quarterback hurt his thumb on the two-point conversion in which he dove for the end zone after catching a pass from TuTu Atwell.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter added that Stafford has made some progress and wants to play, but the team recognizes that it’s going to be highly challenging. This may be a situation where the Rams are protecting the player from himself.
In the middle of this past week, one source said it “would have been unthinkable” for Matthew Stafford to play vs. the Packers with the sprained UCL in his right thumb. But Stafford has made some progress, he does want to play against the Packers, but the team recognizes it’s… https://t.co/98jKS987Da— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2023
Rypien will be making his fourth career start on Sunday. His first three career starts came with the Denver Broncos and he has a 2-1 record in those games. Rypien made his last start in 2022 against the Arizona Cardinals. He went 21-for-26 in that game for 197 yards as the Broncos won 24-15.
Rypien has taken all first-team reps in practice this week and should be ready. The Rams will have had time to put together a game plan that fits Rypien. In all likelihood, the offense will be relying on Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman in the run game. The Packers have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. However, it’s fair to question how much Green Bay will respect the run game without Stafford.
McVay said on Wednesday about Rypien,
“He’s done a great job just in general. I think really, he’s one of those guys that you can see he’s a pro’s pro. He’s always preparing himself as if he understands that there’s one situation or he’s one snap away from having to go into the game...I think his consistent approach is something that’s a good thing for him. I don’t really see much change. I see a guy that came in, handled the walkthrough excellent just like he’s kind of done from the jump and been really pleased with Brett.”
Behind Rypien will likely be Dresser Winn who the Rams signed to their practice squad earlier this week and then elevated him to the active roster on Saturday. Stafford will now be able to hopefully get healthy as the Rams have a bye next week before they play the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11.