The Los Angeles Rams quarterback position has garnered more hype than you’d expect from a subpar team through the 2022 NFL season in large part because of its rotating carousel of faces, including late-season addition Baker Mayfield. Injuries to starting QB and Super Bowl champion Matthew Stafford have played a large part in further dooming an already-sinking title-defending season. Just how long will Stafford be away from the field?
Matthew Stafford Injury Timeline
It was an elbow issue that had Rams fans and the team’s brass concerned to open the year, but far more serious issues are now sidelining Stafford in L.A. The veteran QB is dealing with a spinal cord contusion in his neck, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
The injury is reportedly causing numbness in Stafford’s lower body, and Rams head coach Sean McVay said that the franchise QB is likely out for the rest of the 2022 season. Stafford has since been placed on injured reserve.
In addition to the aforementioned elbow and neck injuries, Stafford also suffered two separate concussions this season. Given the nature of his injuries, it makes sense that the team will be as cautious as possible with his health.
McVay further explained that he doesn’t expect the injury to threaten Stafford’s career in the long term and that Stafford should have a “healthy offseason.” The latter two points are great news for a player that was seen as an iron man of sorts during most of his years with the Detroit Lions. He didn’t miss a single game in nine of his final 10 seasons in the Motor City.
Unfortunately, Stafford has dealt with several serious injuries through his last four seasons, including to his neck, head, and back. Should he be done for the 2022 season as McVay suggested, he’ll end this year working to make a full recovery in time to return for the 2023 offseason program.
Across nine games played this season, Stafford accumulated 2,087 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a 68 percent completion rate.
Rams QB Depth Chart
Behind Stafford, the Rams have three passers on the depth chart: Mayfield, John Wolford, and Bryce Perkins.
Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, spent four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before being traded to the Carolina Panthers following Cleveland’s acquisition of Deshaun Watson. He lasted just 13 regular season weeks in Carolina before requesting his release from the team and being claimed off waivers by the Rams.
Over 65 career starts, Mayfield has amassed a 30-35 record, 230.4 passing yards per game, a 61.2 completion percentage, 98 touchdowns, and 62 interceptions.
Wolford has a unique career trajectory. He went undrafted out of the same 2018 QB class as Mayfield and signed with the New York Jets. He spent the 2018 offseason with the team before being cut prior to the regular season.
In 2019, he was selected in the second round of the AAF QB Draft by the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football. He was highly successful in the AAF, leading to renewed interest from NFL teams and a chance to join the Rams. After signing with L.A. in April of 2019, Wolford has appeared in several games as a fill-in due to injuries to Stafford and former Rams passer Jared Goff.
Perkins signed with the Rams after going undrafted out of the University of Virginia in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s spent time on both the team’s practice squad and active roster and has played sparingly. Perkins made his first career start in Week 12 of the 2022 season, completing 13 of 23 passes for 100 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions and rushing nine times for 44 yards.