The Los Angeles Rams are uncertain when or if quarterback Matthew Stafford will return this season, league sources told ESPN.
Stafford is out Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a strained neck and two recent trips on record to a concussion. He suffered a concussion earlier this month and the Rams have never been able to prove he suffered a second concussion, despite being on record a second time.
The 34-year-old Stafford has endured many physical punishments this season and the Rams ruled him out for their game against the Chiefs on Wednesday.
Rams coach Sean McVay said Stafford felt some numbness in his legs after a goal against the Saints last Sunday, but also stressed that although Stafford is on the concussion log, it doesn’t mean he has been diagnosed with concussion.
Stafford’s status going forward is similar to that of injured Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who is expected to be out for six to eight weeks following ankle surgery. Sources told ESPN that the Rams, who have lost four straight games and six of their last seven, feel there is no need to push back an injured player unless the season stops dragging.
If the Rams (3-7) can string together some wins starting Sunday, when quarterback Bryce Perkins is expected to start in Kansas City, they can have Stafford rested and ready for a stretch run.
Without Stafford on Sunday, the Rams are turning to Perkins, a 2020 undrafted Virginia free agent who excelled in the preseason but didn’t have much playing time in the regular season. Perkins’ first NFL start couldn’t be anywhere more difficult – in Kansas City against a viable Super Bowl team.
Sunday’s game could be the first of several starts this season for Perkins, depending on how he plays, how the team performs and how Stafford recovers. McVay said on Wednesday he wouldn’t rule out closing Stafford for the remainder of the season, saying the Rams “wouldn’t do anything reckless”.
Stafford has rushed for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, his second with the Rams.
John Wolford started at center for Los Angeles against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 — the first game Stafford missed in concussion transcript — but Perkins replaced the injured Stafford against New Orleans last Sunday, completing 5 of 10 passes for 64 yards while he rushes 39 yards at the same time.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35114237/sources-matthew-stafford-uncertain-return-season Matthew Stafford uncertain to return this season