Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Stafford, the Rams’ starter, left Sunday’s loss to the Saints after being sacked in the third quarter and was evaluated for a concussion.
- On Wednesday, McVay said he can’t say if Stafford suffered a concussion, calling it a neck issue as the team evaluates.
- Rams backup quarterback John Wolford was sidelined against New Orleans while dealing with a stiff neck.
- With Stafford and Wolford injured, the Rams are expected to give third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins, an undrafted free agent who has never started an NFL game, first-team reps in practice this week.
Stafford alerted coaches and medical staff to numbness in his legs after taking a hit on Sunday in New Orleans. He went into the concussion evaluation process in-game, and underwent further testing (including neck and spine tests) on Monday.
McVay said Stafford is formally in the concussion protocol, but can’t say whether Stafford does have a concussion or has been diagnosed with one. He will continue testing but is no longer feeling numbness in his legs. “He is in the concussion protocol, that does not mean that he has a concussion,” said McVay. “Because we pulled him out of the game for those reasons, he’s got a neck issue right now and we’re continuing to gather those evidence.”
Stafford will be out Sunday against the Chiefs and will still need to clear the five-step protocol. Bryce Perkins will take the starter’s portion of the practice workload, but neither McVay nor offensive coordinator Liam Coen committed to Perkins getting the start on Sunday.
Stafford is in the concussion protocol for the second time in three weeks, and missed Week 10 while in the protocol. McVay declined during that time to say whether Stafford had suffered a concussion. Stafford started against the Saints two days after clearing the concussion protocol.
McVay also said Wednesday that the Rams will “take a week at a time” regarding Stafford’s injury and McVay does not rule out shutting Stafford down for the rest of the year.
Wolford progressing; Perkins’ limited NFL experience
On Monday, McVay said Wolford was still dealing with his neck issue but “trending in the right direction.” Although Wolford missed Sunday’s game, he was able to join practice last Thursday (limited participant) and Friday (full).
The Rams signed Perkins as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2020 and later waived him ahead of final roster cuts for the 2020 season. He signed a reserve/futures contract with the team in January 2021 and had only one pass this season before he entered Sunday’s game for an injured Stafford. Perkins went 5-of-10 with 64 throwing yards in the loss to the Saints.
(Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA Today)