Barring a miracle, Matthew Stafford will be inactive for the L.A. Rams against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. With the bye week on deck, Sean McVay may choose to play it safe and give his quarterback an extra week of rest before returning from a UCL injury in his hand. However, if the Rams lose to the Packers on Sunday, is there much of a point to bringing Stafford back at all?
Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford, listed as questionable for Sunday due to his thumb injury, is unlikely to play vs. the Packers, though the team is giving him all the time it can before it has to make any final decisions about his availability, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 5, 2023
Rypien relieved Stafford in the Rams’ Week 8 loss to the Cowboys after the latter suffered a sprained UCL in his right thumb. Head coach Sean McVay announced Monday that Stafford, who did not practice this week, would be day to day. With a bye looming after Sunday, Los Angeles will give it a go for hopefully just one game sans Stafford.
Stafford’s thrown for 2,070 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games with the Rams. Though his statistics don’t generally sing his praises, the veteran has had his old zip and touch on his passes. Thusly, it’s a major loss for the Rams.
Both Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur and defensive coordinator Joe Barry said this week that they were preparing as if Stafford was going to play, as a player of his caliber demands a week of preparation. Neither seemed to think that the offense would change much, from a structural standpoint, if it was Rypien getting the nod instead of Stafford, either.
In his NFL regular-season career, Rypien has gone 2-1 as a starter, but it hasn’t been due to his performance. He’s thrown four touchdowns to eight interceptions for a passer rating of 62.8 in his career, a mark that ranks below the season-long passer rating of all NFL franchises other than the Cleveland Browns this season.
To that end, Bleacher Report recently unveiled a new 2024 NFL Mock Draft, and they have the Rams using the No. 10 overall pick to select Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry.
McKinstry was a five-star recruit out of Pinson Valley High School, where he won the 2021 USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year Award. McKinstry was named First-Team All-Sec in 2022 at Alabama and has 81 total tackles, four tackles for a loss and two interceptions in 36 career games for the Crimson Tide.
“Man, we’ve been here before,” McVay told reporters on Friday. “We’re not going to do that. I don’t believe we have that in our locker room. I do look at it as an opportunity of, okay, hey it’s really important to those other guys that might get that opportunity and how can we pour into them and allow them to be able to shine in their talents to be able to show themselves with an enjoyment for cutting it loose, going and competing and making sure that this is always a blessing and never a burden for us.”