The Los Angeles Rams are in a bit of an odd predicament. They sit at 3-5 after getting their doors blown off by the Dallas Cowboys and have potentially lost quarterback Matthew Stafford for the foreseeable future with a thumb injury on this throwing hand. Sounds like a really bad spot to be in, but what makes it really interesting is that they are still only one game out of the 7th seed in the playoff picture.
Sean McVay said in his Monday presser that Stafford has a UCL sprain and is considered day-to-day. This was probably “best case” scenario as nothing is broken, but a UCL sprain is nothing to take lightly, especially since it happened to Stafford’s throwing hand.
The Rams play the Packers this week and then go on their bye. What they do over the next 24-48 hours will tell a lot about how they view the remainder of the 2023 season.
If Matthew Stafford does not need to go on IR, then I can’t see them making any significant move. They most likely roll with Rypien against Green Bay, and then bank on Stafford being ready to go after the bye, and aim to go on a run.
However, if it is deemed best to put Stafford on IR (NFL Trade Deadline is approaching rapidly), then the Rams will need to make some kind of move to ensure that they have an opportunity to go 2-1 over the next 3 games that Stafford will miss.
Here are some viable options for the Rams to look at.
Related: Rams Dismantled By Dallas
Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Targets Via Trade Or Free Agency
Jameis Winston – New Orleans Saints Backup
The former first-overall pick is currently the backup in New Orleans behind starter Derek Carr. This has total “Baker Mayfield” vibes from last season. A former first-overall pick aiming to build his resume for a shot at one more opportunity to start in the NFL.
Winston is definitely not a “safe” option, but he would give the Rams the highest ceiling to make some noise and keep the ship afloat while Stofford is out. He would also allow Stafford ample time to get fully healthy as opposed to rushing back and risking injury yet again.
Winston can certainly throw you out of games, but he can also throw you back into them. If Stafford is going to miss extended time, and McVay and company believe they still have a viable shot at making the playoffs, then Winston gives this team the best shot.
Where this gets really interesting is the fact that Minnesota just lost Kirk Cousins for the season, and all three teams are in a race for that 7th spot. New Orleans may decide that it’s not worth sending their backup to someone who could knock them out of the playoffs, or it just means that the asking price for a backup QB is going to be substantially higher.
Carson Wentz – Free Agent
Carson Wentz is another name a lot of the Rams faithful have been floating around. Adding a free agent is always curious, because if you think they are a better option than who you currently have as the backup (Brett Rypien) then why wouldn’t you bring them to the team in the first place?
But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the former second-overall pick is a better option. Wentz last played for Washington in a very tumultuous 2022 season that saw him go on IR, lose his starting job, regain his starting spot, and get released after poor performances to end the season.
This would be an addition solely on the precipice that McVay could salvage some of the elite talent that got him drafted so high in the first place. It would be fun to say that McVay coached both the first-overall (Jared Goff) and second-overall picks in the 2016 draft.
Nick Foles – Free Agent
Another free agent option here for the Rams. Foles has some familiarity with the organization (albeit back in St. Louis) and is a Super Bowl-winning QB. Since his Super Bowl campaign, he has had stops in Jacksonville, Chicago, and Indianapolis.
Foles would not provide a ton of upside, but he would be a veteran presence who has won some big-time games. Again, all the Rams are aiming for is the ability to go 2-1 while Stafford is out (all speculative if he goes on IR), and Foles could provide that.
Marcus Mariota – Philadelphia Eagles Backup
ANOTHER former high-end draft pick (number two overall) that could bring in some experience in a pinch. Mariota began last season as the starter in Atlanta but now finds himself backing up Jalen Hurts. I’m not sure the Eagles would want to do anything to help out an NFC foe, but if Roseman were able to get more ammo for this season or some decent draft capital, he would look like a genius once again.
This one is on the “unlikelier” side, but hey, never say never.
Trey Lance – Dallas Cowboys Third String
This would be the most interesting scenario. Based on how south things went in SF, and how Lance was unable to fully grasp the Shanahan offense after two seasons, it’s very unlikely that he could come in off the fly and give the Rams a better chance at winning than Brett Rypien, however, he is still only 23, has high upside arm talent, and could give the Rams an option for the future.
Would this aid the Rams in going 2-1 while Stafford is out? I’m not sure that it would, but would be fascinating nonetheless.