Reading the tea leaves re: the LA Rams quarterback situation

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams do not spend much money or time bolstering their backup quarterback position. It’s almost as though the concept of investing a draft pick or a veteran into the role would either tempt Fate to force the team into needing to play the backup or worse yet, would cause a quarterback controversy.

Now, I’m not talking about the type of backup controversy that plagued the Green Bay Packers over the past few years when they draft Jordan Love with their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft when the roster screamed for receivers.

What I am referring to is the pattern of the LA Rams shifting their roster focus to thicken positions that were hard hit by injuries in the past year, and electing to go a bit too thin in other areas of the roster to balance out the numbers.

Reading those tea leaves

Trouble is coming. No, I take no pride in bearing bad news. Nor do I insist on being right. I would love to be wrong. But the LA Rams have starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, backup and oft-injured backup quarterback John Wolford, and raw but promising backup to the backup quarterback Bryce Perkins. So what is the problem?

If anything should happen to Perkins throughout the course of training camp or preseason games, the next man up is John Wolford, who has himself posed a bit of a challenge to maintain healthy on the LA Rams roster if he is involved in any contact.  That means that Matthew Stafford is not exactly insulated from being forced into service.

Of course, that’s the worst-case scenario, and the Rams’ front office is clearly rolling the dice in the hope that the dominoes all fall the right way. And they very well may do exactly that. But the risks of doing so add . . . complications. Such as?

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Rolling the dice needlessly

The idea of training camp is to familiarize players with the playbook, with the coaches, and with each other. Since the quarterback is the one position that handles the football on virtually each and every offensive snap, familiarity with everyone is crucial. The Rams circumvented that challenge when Jared Goff injured his throwing hand by re-signing former Rams QB Blake Bortles.

But that was two years ago.

Perhaps I’m alone on this, but I’d rather the Rams bring in another quarterback now, learn the system, familiarize himself with the players, and be that ’emergency’ signing in the season if necessary. Waiting until a quarterback is injured means less time to get a player up to speed, greater risk of not finding the right quarterback, and prolonged increased risk of the team suffering more injuries at the position.

You don’t shop for a spare tire when you get a flat. While the team already has two backup quarterbacks, a third quarterback to help handle the load through training camp is the wiser course here. Must the LA Rams do something? No. But this is the first time that the team has gone with just three quarterbacks to enter training camp.

The team loves to roll the dice. But on this occasion, I fear they are rolling the dice needlessly.

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