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Rams' Matthew Stafford Placed on Injured Reserve With Neck Injury; Season Likely Over

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 3, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 20: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior to the start of an NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 20, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams announced Saturday that they placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next four games.

Stafford would be eligible to return in Week 17, but with the Rams currently outside the playoff picture, it is unlikely they would risk further injury to his neck.

Injuries have become the primary storyline of Stafford's season. On Nov. 27, with Stafford missing a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs due to a strained neck after two separate stints in concussion protocol, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Rams were uncertain if Stafford would return this season.

That conflicted with a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who wrote that same day that multiple sources said "there are no current plans to shut down Stafford for the remainder of the season."

Because the 3-8 Rams are struggling this season and likely already out of playoff contention, it wouldn't come as a shock if they shut him down for the rest of the season.

Stafford also wasn't thriving when healthy. On the season he's thrown for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games while completing 68 percent of his passes and taking 29 sacks.

For contrast, last season he threw for 4,886 yards, 41 touchdowns and was sacked 30 times in 17 games, eventually leading the Rams to a Super Bowl title. It was vintage Stafford, something he's struggled to replicate this season.

Those struggles have been mirrored across the Rams, namely on an offensive line that hasn't done much to keep its quarterback upright.

With Stafford set to be out for at least the next month, backup John Wolford will start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and possibly for the rest of the season.