Rams ‘lean toward’ having Baker Mayfield available Thursday

Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday that he would “tend” to have new quarterback Baker Mayfield available Thursday night at SoFi Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders, but did not say Mayfield would play.

“In my experience, to get him in and let him go out there in such a short amount of time would be unprecedented because of everything a quarterback has to do,” McVay said during a video conference call. “But I think he would be able to if we asked him.

“But we’re really taking this one day at a time,” Thursday.

The Rams challenged Mayfield on Tuesday from waivers from the Carolina Panthers, adding the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft to a team that is 3-9 and has lost six straight games.

Matthew Stafford is on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season. Backup John Wolford is suffering from a neck injury and McVay said he is a question for Thursday’s game. Bryce Perkins could also start against the Raiders.

So the opportunity to sign Mayfield seemed too good to pass up.

“When you have a player of his caliber available and you just look at the circumstances and situation surrounding our quarterback room, we felt like this was the right move for us,” McVay said.

Is Mayfield a possibility as a long-term backup for Stafford?

“We’re very excited to be working with him for another five weeks,” McVay said, “and whether he’ll play five games or four is yet to be determined.

“But I’m looking forward to it, and I think as we continue to collect that information, that sort of thing will answer itself.”

Mayfield, 27, played four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before being traded to the Panthers last summer.

Mayfield has started 65 NFL games and has a 30-35 record. He has had six touchdowns with six interceptions this season. He was sidelined with an ankle injury when the Rams defeated the Panthers at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 16, the Rams’ last win before their current six-game losing streak.

He hasn’t played since Nov. 20, when he completed 21 of 33 passes for 196 yards with two interceptions in a 13-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“He’s a guy whose game I’ve always respected,” McVay said, “and liked a lot of the things he brings to the table.”

After taking over from Mayfield, McVay said he received a text message from USC coach Lincoln Riley, who coached Mayfield in Oklahoma. Riley “can’t speak highly enough” of Mayfield, McVay said.

McVay said the Rams did not claim Mayfield to block the San Francisco 49ers, a Super Bowl contender that lost quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to injuries.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-12-07/advancing-rams-vs-raiders Rams ‘lean toward’ having Baker Mayfield available Thursday

Emma Bowman

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