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Rams to rest Matthew Stafford, start Carson Wentz in finale

Dec 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Carson Wentz (11) reacts during the first half against the Washington Commanders at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will rest starting quarterback Matthew Stafford in their season-finale this week and turn the ball over to primary backup Carson Wentz against the San Francisco 49ers.

Rams coach Sean McVay announced the move Wednesday, three days after his team secured a playoff spot.

The start will mark Wentz’s first since Jan. 2, 2023, his final game in a Washington Commanders uniform. Wentz made a brief cameo this season in mop-up duty on Nov. 26, a 37-14 Rams’ win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams are sitting Stafford despite the possibility of slipping from the sixth seed in the NFC to No. 7. If the Rams (9-7) lose to the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers defeat the visiting Chicago Bears, then the Rams will be the seventh seed for the playoffs.

Stafford, 35, has thrown for 3,965 yards and 24 touchdowns against 11 interceptions this season. He missed just one game due to injury, Week 9 against Green Bay, a 20-3 loss. The Rams went with Brett Rypien in that contest and released him two days later.

The Rams signed Wentz the same day, Nov. 7.

Wentz will make a start for his fourth different team in four years. The 31-year-old is 46-45-1 lifetime as the starter for the Philadelphia Eagles (2016-20), Indianapolis Colts (2021) and Commanders (2022). He has thrown for 22,129 yards, 151 TDs and 66 INTs.

–Field Level Media

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