The Los Angeles Rams could be without their starting quarterback when they take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol and didn’t practice Wednesday, leaving his status unclear for the upcoming Week 10 matchup.
“Nobody wants to be out there more than Matthew Stafford,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. “Nobody is a greater competitor, tougher, that I’ve ever been around. However, it was in terms of some of the questions that were asked (to Stafford after the game) in terms of getting to this point.”
The Rams believe that the injury occurred during their 16-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, which saw Stafford sacked four times and the Buccaneers officially record eight QB hits. Stafford has been sacked 28 times on the season, the third-highest mark in the league and just two fewer than his 2021 total.
Los Angeles’ inconsistent offensive line has likely played a role in Stafford getting hit so much and his drop in play. The Rams have featured a different starting OL unit in each of their eight games. Meanwhile, Stafford has thrown eight touchdowns and eight interceptions while producing an 84.9 passer rating — his lowest in nearly 10 seasons.
Missing time would be another atypical setback. The 34-year-old Stafford’s been one of the league’s most durable quarterbacks over his 14-year career, playing in 177 of 185 possible games since 2011.
If Stafford can’t go against the Cards, John Wolford would likely start in his place. McVay remains optimistic about Stafford’s chances of playing, though.
“(We’re) still anticipating and having the optimistic approach that there’s a possibility that (Stafford) will be ready to go,” McVay said. “John has been our backup, but the reality is we’ll take it a day at a time.”
Still, McVay knows that concussions can’t be treated lightly and that the team has to be careful with Stafford’s long-term health.
“You put the priority where it’s about the person first,” McVay said. “This is so important, but when you think about it in the big picture, it’s a temporary moment in time. He’s got a beautiful family, wife, four daughters. There’s a lot of other responsibilities that these guys have.”
The Rams fell to 3-5 on the season with their loss in Week 9 and will be in last place in the NFC West if they lose to the 3-6 Cardinals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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