LA Rams have ruled backup QB Wolford out for this Saturday

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

In LA Rams News: It will be QB Jared Goff, and not John Wolford facing the Packers. Wolford has been ruled out.

The LA Rams appeared to have a choice this week between a quarterback with a surgically repaired thumb in this throwing hand or a quarterback still suffering the after-effects of a neck-stinger.  Well, by process of elimination, they appear to be going with the bum thumbed starting quarterback Jared Goff. While it was evident that Goff did not play at 100 percent against the Seattle Seahawks, he did do well enough to win the game.

Goff was never expected to play in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. But an early injury to mobile quarterback John Wolford forced the Rams to send Goff onto the field in relief. It was clear from his struggles throwing the ball, and from images of his swollen thumb on his throwing hand, that Goff should not have played. But circumstances forced him to line up under center.

Wolford’s stinger lingers

After the injury, the Rams sent Wolford to the hospital via ambulance for diagnostic testing and observation. While Wolford was later released and was able to join his teammates during their locker room celebration, the telltale signs were there. Wolford did not practice so far this week. With a neck stinger, it either diminishes quickly, or it sticks around.  In Wolford’s case, it’s sticking around.

And so the LA Rams announced today that Wolford has been ruled OUT on Saturday to face the Green Bay Packers.

That announcement likely carries a bit more permanency than normal, as this is round two of the NFL Playoffs. The Rams advancing will only have two more footballs facing them. That’s simply too few, and the stakes are too high, to waffle on backing the quarterback now.

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Room for optimism

Goff is the guy. For better or worse, he has been and will be that guy in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. If you agree with a ‘Goff sucks’ statement, then there is nothing more to share. If you are not closed-minded about Goff just yet, take heart. Despite the court of public opinion, an NFL quarterback continues to grow and improve for many years in his career. Goff is a seasoned veteran, and his playoff record with head coach Sean McVay is now 3-2.

Yes, Goff is playing with a questionable thumb. But he will be wearing gloves in this game, and that could be a very positive development for many reasons. We have lobbied hard for the belief that these Rams are in an excellent position to get hot in the playoffs.  For that matter, the Rams have had two upset victories and may have cost Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer his job.

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Playoff time is real football

Everything is in motion. What happens Saturday may lead the Rams into another week of preparing for the NFC Championship Game, or it will give a moment for pause and reflection. In short, have the Rams truly failed to deliver this season? Or were we swept up with momentary flashes of success that tempted us to raise the bar for this team beyond reason?

For what it’s worth, the LA Rams are a solid team. The fact that they are arguably competitive with the Top-Seeded team in the NFC says quite a bit about them. It was a 16 game regular season to rank postseason teams and warm everyone up for this moment. The LA Rams are 1-0 and now are about to face the 0-0 Green Bay Packers as a road underdog.

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QB Jared Goff is starting this Saturday, and he will be wearing gloves. I will not be surprised if his throwing hand has healed significantly, and he will have an outstanding game.  Win or lose, the LA Rams have played well this season. All 53 players have done so. And I will be ecstatic if they continue to do so for one more month.