The Los Angeles Rams placed rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett on the non-football injury list on Wednesday. Head coach Sean McVay didn’t disclose the reasoning for this move and only said that he wouldn’t discuss it. With Bennett out, it leaves the Rams only with Brett Rypien on the roster behind Matthew Stafford.
Rypien was signed in the offseason as a player who knew the offense. However, during roster cuts, he was let go and has since been on the team’s practice squad. During the preseason, Rypien completed 14-of-23 passes for 92 yards. However, he didn’t look very good when he was under center. It is worth noting that would have been behind a backup offensive line.
During Wednesday’s media session, McVay said,
“The fortunate thing for us is that Brett Rypien has been in-house. He’s on our practice squad. He was the backup last week and he’s going to continue to be in that situation until anything changes on that note, but that’s where we’re at right now.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford added, “Obviously, one less guy in there. One less guy in the red jersey at practice...I appreciate him (Bennett) as a teammate and right now we’ll roll with it as we go.”
It doesn’t sound like the Rams will be looking at adding a third quarterback. However, with Rypien as the only quarterback on the roster behind Stafford for at least the next four games, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Given the uncertainty of Bennett’s situation, it may not be a bad idea to bring in a third quarterback even if it is only on the practice squad for a month. Here are three players that make the most sense.
1. Carson Wentz
Wentz is arguably the best quarterback available on the free agent market and hasn’t been signed anywhere since starting last season in Washington for the Commanders. There were reports back in May that Wentz was working out in Los Angeles.
Updated free agent QB Carson Wentz on @SportsCenter…He’s been working out in L.A. in preparation for the season, he’s received interest from teams and he might wait longer into offseason to see what develops. But he’s open to any role, I’m told (starter or backup)— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 14, 2023
The Rams obviously don’t need Wentz to start and it’s unlikely that the former starting quarterback would only sign to the practice squad. Still, preparing for a worst-case scenario, the Rams wouldn’t be doing their due diligence by at least not considering the former number two overall pick in 2016.
2. Dresser Winn
Winn threw just five passes in the Rams’ final preseason game, but did spend all offseason on the team. In those passes, he went 3-for-5 for 21 yards. At the very least he knows the offense to an extent and could run the scout team if needed.
He’s obviously not a player that McVay would ever consider starting. Again, as just a short term solution until Bennett potentially returns from the NFI list, Winn makes some sense. The quarterback market is thin and with the New York Jets losing Aaron Rodgers to a torn achilles, there is some competition.
3. Bryce Perkins
While Perkins was on the Rams roster last year, that was also the last time that he played football. He participated in New York Giants rookie mini-camp, but wasn’t in a team training camp or participate in the preseason.
With that said, he’s one of the only quarterbacks available that have some familiarity with the offense. He’s also done a good job running the scout team on the practice squad over the last two years. It’s an uninspiring option, but as a short-term option, it should be considered.
There are obviously quarterbacks like Nick Foles and Colt McCoy available. However, Foles likely doesn’t want to be a third quarterback at this point. McCoy is intriguing as someone with experience in a McVay-like offense, but at 37, being a third quarterback is below him.
Trevor Siemian lost the backup quarterback job to Jake Browning, but spent the offseason with the Cincinnati Bengals who are coached by McVay disciple Zac Taylor. Would Siemian be on the table?
As mentioned, the options are limited and the likely path is the Rams just sticking with Rypien and hoping for the best. Despite re-working the backup quarterback room this offseason, it’s more cloudy than it was a year ago.