Upgrade I: QB Carson Wentz
The LA Rams are not going to start Carson Wentz for the remained of the 2023 NFL season, at least not without due cause. But the conditions that prompted the Rams to rely on backup quarterback Brett Rypien for a Week 9 start on the road against the Green Bay Packers could return. And this time, the Rams will be ready.
So why is Carson Wentz listed as my top upgrade to the LA Rams roster? Well, there will be several occasions for the Rams to give Wentz his shots at running the LA Rams offense. After all, the LA Rams are still struggling to find consistency on offense, whether or not Stafford is under center. So it falls to reason that if the Rams are trailing late in the game, the Rams now have the option of sitting Stafford to keep him healthy and sending in Wentz for mop up duty.
Of course, there is the remote possibility of the opposite scenario. If the Rams offense explodes for a ton of points, the Rams now have a solid option to send in a quarterback who should be able to run the offense well enough to keep skill players active and in position to continue positive performances.
Better backup means better insurance
Perhaps the most likely scenario is a situation where veteran QB Matthew Stafford is shaken up or injured in one of the remaining eight games of the season. Should Stafford need to get his bearings during the game, or be offline for a game or two, the Rams now have a backup who brings a reasonable expectation for the Rams to win.
While the Rams have a solid backup at the ready now, the team is not quite fully set at the position. With the continued absence of rookie QB Stetson Bennett, the Rams continue to run thin at the backup quarterback position. Should Stafford fall to any form of injury that lasts more than one game, the Rams' current roster configuration means that the Rams will have Carson Wentz going it alone.
That's not wise.
When Stafford was injured in Week 8, the Rams had to scramble to sign QB Dresser Winn to the practice squad. The Rams have once more opted to place all of their eggs into the basket of just one backup quarterback and no quarterback on the practice squad.
Carson Wentz is a huge upgrade over Brett Rypien as a backup quarterback. But the Rams love to flirt with danger in terms of reserve players.