LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford in NFL concussion protocol

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have been snakebit this season, fending off an incredible number of injuries that have decimated practically every aspect of the team. So far, the Rams’ top players, including defensive lineman Aaron Donald, have been spared the brunt of injuries. But that resistance to injury, particularly in a season in which the Rams’ offensive line has suffered enough injuries to last two seasons.

Inevitably, the Rams’ risk of injury to veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford increased each week that the team started a new version of their offensive line, and Stafford found himself getting sacked as often by the mid-season mark as he had been throughout the entirety of the 2021 NFL season.

It’s why you don’t pass 40+ times when facing a defense with a strong pass rush. But that’s a lesson that the Rams have yet to learn. As a result, Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford has entered the NFL concussion protocol.

Even if Stafford clears the protocol in time to suit up to face the Arizona Cardinals, I truly hope that the team does not rush him back onto the football field. We witnessed just how well starting left guard David Edwards handled a quick return from the concussion protocol. Right now, the LA Rams must consider the long-term ramifications of Stafford’s injury (pun intended).

Here’s what LA Rams head coach Sean McVay had to say:

Does that mean that this team should give up? Not at all. Whether the Rams choose to start John Wolford or Bryce Perkins at quarterback, the team will need to rethink the entire offensive scheme.  That could prove to have positive results, as the offense right now is in the worst state ever with Rams HC Sean McVay at the helm.

With a more mobile quarterback, pressuring the quarterback by opposing defenses is somewhat negated because scrambling for positive yardage is possible on every play. That forces defensive pass rushers to contain a scrambling quarterback, rather than rush with everything they’ve got.  It could also force the Rams to consider 12-personnel packages, or even two running backs, to afford more check-down options to a younger less experienced quarterback.

Nobody wanted Matthew Stafford to get hurt this season. But with him in the NFL concussion protocol, the Rams have got to be very smart about how they handle returning him to the starting lineup. The Rams starting quarterback is injured, but so is the entire offense. Perhaps this is an opportunity to get both healed up for a potential playoff push?

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