Will LA Rams backup quarterback John Wolford play against the Jets?

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the LA Rams build a sizeable lead against the Jets, will backup QB John Wolford see his first NFL action?

Love him or hate him, LA Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff has been an iron man of dependability. He shows up and just plays, and plays, and plays. While that is great news for the LA Rams, it has kept backup quarterback John Wolford on the bench. In previous NFL seasons, the Rams had a veteran backing up Jared Goff. But whether it was salary cap constraints, or simply confidence in Wolford, that is no longer the case.

In 2020, the Rams decided to go with the 6-foot-1 200-pound dual-threat QB Wolford as the sole backup support for starter Jard Goff.  Even the backup to Wolford was questionable, as the Rams decided to stick with an undrafted free agent rookie quarterback Bryce Perkins.  Perkins is also a dual-threat option, and he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 214-pounds.  Unfortunately, he has been on the Rams practice squad all season.

Wolford’s first NFL action?

The LA Rams have never had a significant lead so far this season. So it’s no wonder why the Rams have not gotten Wolford onto the field yet this season. Still, the New York Jets traveled to Seattle to face the Seahawks, and they fell behind by such a lopsided score of 37-3 that the Seahawks put backup quarterback Geno Smith into the game with 1:26 left in the third quarter.  Smith was able to drive the Seahawks for a final field goal to make the final score 40-3.

Right now, it’s difficult to say what score, if any, would be needed for the Rams to bench Goff and put Wolford onto the field to mop up the game.  We know that the Rams would certainly be wise to do so. Wolford has not taken a single snap in an NFL game, so any experience he could get would be a positive development for the Rams. It would also be wise to protect starting quarterback Jared Goff from a late-game injury.

Mop up in week 15?

Could this game get out of hand? There’s certainly evidence that it could. The Rams’ top defense facing the Jets NFL-worst offense would be enough. But then the Rams passing offense runs into one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and this game gets scary lopsided on paper. The only hope that the Jets have is to catch the Rams sneak peeking ahead to the showdown in Seattle the following week.

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If the Rams jump ahead by four touchdowns in the second half, or if the Rams defense is tossing a shutout against the Jets with a 24+ point lead in the second half, I will expect Wolford to take the field. The Rams need to get him some playing time ‘just in case’ and there will not be another chance before the NFL Playoffs. The only risk is if Wolford plays exceptionally well, that will further erode Goff’s support just before entering post-season. But in the end, it’s a risk worth taking.