Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay revealed the motives behind starting John Wolford under center for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, as opposed to Bryce Perkins, who received his first career start last week.
The Los Angeles Rams‘ two most recent starting quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Bryce Perkins, are both physically able to play in Sunday’s NFC West divisional game against the Seattle Seahawks … but neither will get the nod.
“John (Wolford) is going to get the opportunity,” coach Sean McVay announced Friday.
Stafford, who’s been dealing with a concussion, cleared protocol, but has already been ruled out. Perkins, on the other hand, started last week’s 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, going 13 of 23 through the air for 100 yards and a touchdown while adding 44 yards on the ground and tossing two interceptions.
But ultimately, it’s Wolford who “will get the first crack at it,” per McVay, even though Perkins “had a good week” of practice following his first professional start.
Wolford, 27, started in Los Angeles’ 27-17 loss against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10, the first time he’d done so since the 2020 season. He finished 24 of 36 for 212 yards, one touchdown and an interception in his season debut.
Neither Wolford nor Perkins have necessarily done enough to establish themselves as the clear go-to option behind Stafford … so much so that McVay hinted the Rams may play both against Seattle.
“I think both of those guys can go into this confident that they both have played,” said McVay. “They can learn from some of the opportunities that they’ve had this year. They’ll both be ready … there’s a chance that you could see Bryce in this game as well. But John will get the opportunity to start.”
So, why Wolford? Why opt to go away from Perkins, who had a chance to build on his debut, for Wolford, who the Rams largely know what they have in him?
Despite being 3-8 and in the cellar of the NFC West, McVay and his staff have a job to do, and it’s centered around winning and player evaluation. Per the sixth-year coach, that’s ultimately what the decision came down to.
“Really just an opportunity to see if (Wolford) can build on some of the things that he’s done,” McVay said. “He’s got a little bit more experience with it and in some instances, we just felt like he might give us a little bit better chance to operate, but that’s not an indictment on Bryce by any stretch.
“John’s got just a little bit more experience. I think they both bring some similar traits to the table as far as what you can do with them.”
McVay added that he thought Perkins managed a “really tough situation” against Kansas City, only further piling onto the difficulties of his starting debut. Evidently, it wasn’t quite enough to earn the starting gig once more, setting the stage for Wolford to capitalize on the opportunity and put the backup quarterback discussion to rest.
But for Los Angeles, all that matters is getting back into the win column for the first time since Oct. 16, and McVay believes Wolford’s experience gives the team the best chance to do so … although it certainly seems like Perkins could also see snaps at some point.
In a season filled with struggles and uncertainty, the Rams put the latter concern to rest – at least at quarterback – and now have all eyes set on working towards fixing the former, starting at 1:05 p.m. Sunday inside SoFi Stadium.
You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft
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