Fragility of 5 Rams veterans can open door for backups to earn starting roles

Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages
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QB Jimmy Garoppolo

While much of the horrahas and cheers over the team's backup quarterback status has been the result of the team signing former foe, veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, to a one-year deal, I believe that the return of Stetson Bennett to the roster for 2024 signifies an under-the-radar moment that could be a huge positive factor in the year ahead.

As has been the trend for the team in signing a veteran quarterback to the roster, the current trend for Jimmy Garoppolo has been a significant drop in his reputation and marketability. After a long but injury-riddled career with the team's NFC West Division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, Garoppolo finally ventured off to sign on as the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023. There, he started six games, ended with a record of 3 wins and 3 losses, completed 110 out of 169 passes for 1,205 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

The problem is that he signed an NFL starting quarterback contract that the Raiders regretted after only six games. Not only that but due to a controlled substance violation, he is suspended for the first two games of the 2024 NFL season. Garoppolo has witnessed how a stint with the LA Rams has restored NFL interest in both QB Baker Mayfield (now starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Carson Wentz (now backing up at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs), and wanted to sign with the team in hopes that his luster can be polished by competing in The Horns this season.

Perhaps the best analogy for the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo as the team's backup quarterback for the 2024 NFL season is to view him as a donut spare tire. The donut is designed to get the vehicle from point A to point B after a flat tire. Garoppolo is a bit like that, as he will get the team through a short period of injury, and brings a strong likelihood of success over that period. But he is not a guy who should be expected to compete for an extended time is this offense.

That type of role is likely to be handled by another backup quarterback.

So why even mention Stetson Bennett?