Los Angeles Rams place Matthew Stafford on injured reserve, likely ending his season

It appears the Los Angeles Rams are finally ready to throw in the towel on the 2022-23 season. As if their 3-8 record wasn’t enough evidence, now the team is placing starting quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve.

Stafford’s season was already in question from the moment he suffered a concussion in the team’s Week 9 loss to Tampa Bay, only we weren’t made aware of any issues until later in the week, when Stafford entered the league’s concussion protocol on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

He did not play in Week 10 but was able to return for the team’s Week 11 matchup against New Orleans on Nov. 20.

Unfortunately, his improved state was only temporary, as Stafford had to leave the game after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit that gave the 34-year-old QB another concussion. He was also said to be dealing with a neck injury, and he did not play in Week 12 before being ruled out for this Sunday’s contest with Seattle as well.

Only now, the Rams have decided to shut their Super Bowl-winning QB down for the rest of the season, or at least the next four games, due to the NFL’s IR rules.

Stafford would technically be able to return for Week 17 to participate in the team’s final two games, but with their playoff chances essentially in the tank, it wouldn’t make much sense to risk yet another injury during meaningless play.

Whether they want it or not, this likely means Rams fans will get an extended look at backup John Wolford and possibly Bryce Perkins for the final six games of the season. Both have started one game for the Rams this season. To no surprise, the Rams lost both games.

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Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams will be back in full force in 2023

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams

Of course this isn’t the season anyone had in mind for the LA Rams after winning Super Bowl LVI. Few anticipated the drop-off we’ve witnessed.

Yet, there were signs of turmoil from the very beginning, such as when Stafford was dealing with a unique elbow injury before the year even began.

If Stafford’s season truly is finished, he will finish with the highest completion rate of his 14-year career, albeit in a much smaller sample size, starting just nine games.

  • Matthew Stafford stats in 2022: 68% comp rate, 2,087 passing yards, 10 TD, 8 INT

While Stafford’s elbow issues ultimately didn’t cost the Rams their season, injuries have certainly taken their toll.

Cooper Kupp had to undergo ankle surgery, ripping the heart and soul of the Rams’ offense off the field. Left tackle Joseph Noteboom, who was taking over from now-retired Andrew Whitworth, tore his Achilles, leaving the Rams’ protection scheme in shambles.

Even though there are still six games to play, there certainly wasn’t anything worthy of writing home about for the Rams this season, as long as we don’t see any unforeseen changes, such as Sean McVay heading to the broadcast booth, the Rams should be much-improved in 2023.

But it won’t be via the draft, as the Rams still owe their 2023 first-round pick to Detroit as partial payment for the Jared Goff trade. This stings, as the pick is currently projected to be the fourth overall selection, but at least the Rams have some shiny Super Bowl rings, plus a Lombardi Trophy to celebrate. They’ll look to add to their collection starting in 2023, hopefully much healthier.

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