The Los Angeles Rams' preseason has ended, and while No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff didn't look completely overmatched, head coach Jeff Fisher has decided to go with Case Keenum as his starting quarterback in Week 1.
Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reported that Goff will not suit up on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. According to NFL Network's Steve Wyche (h/t NFL.com), punter Johnny Hekker will be listed as the emergency quarterback behind starter Keenum and backup Sean Mannion.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spoke to reporters about the rookie signal-caller's development on Sept. 1:
I think it’s going to take a bit more time. That’s not to say he can’t be a No. 2 or start, but if we were starting right now, I’d probably have Sean [Mannion] as the No. 2. Because it’s all about being patient with [Goff].
He’s not frustrated or anything. He took some hits. He got hit pretty hard last week, and Sunday was a tough day for him, which you guys didn’t see. But he did everything he needed to do.
While the Rams gave up a lot of assets to trade up to the No. 1 slot in the 2016 NFL draft to select Goff, Keenum acquitted himself well and was the only stable performer for the Rams at the quarterback position last season.
The franchise undoubtedly drafted Goff to be the long-term answer at quarterback, but as the former California standout told Andrew Siciliano and Kurt Warner on NFL Network (h/t Bleacher Report), he wants to start immediately.
Teams usually don't have another good option at the position when they are selecting first, but on the heels of a season in which Keenum threw for four touchdowns and just one interception while going 3-2 in five starts (six games), the 28-year-old isn't a bad stopgap until Goff is ready.
The presence of superstar running back Todd Gurley should take a great deal of pressure off Keenum, but the veteran will still have to play well to hold off Goff over the entire season.
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