John Wolford Returns to Rams After Being Taken to Hospital with Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford (9) walks off the field after being injured during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)
Scott Eklund/Associated Press

John Wolford's start in Saturday's NFL playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks didn't last long.

Wolford was forced to the locker room on Los Angeles' second drive, which caused Jared Goff to enter. The team confirmed Wolford was questionable to return with a neck injury before it ruled him out.

The Rams went on to win, 30-20.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Jared Goff was active today as the Rams’ emergency QB. He broke his left thumb two weeks ago. Goff has entered the game after John Wolford got hurt. (via @NFLonFOX) https://t.co/bTmFzJ4mt7

Wolford was later transported to a local hospital by ambulance but returned to the stadium and celebrated the victory with his teammates in the locker room:

Tim Booth @ByTimBooth

Photo via AP photog @tedswarren of Rams QB John Wolford being taken for additional observation. Per Ted, Wolford walked to the stretcher before being loaded into the ambulance. https://t.co/uugrPpg7Bd

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

#Rams starting quarterback John Wolford returned to the stadium from the hospital and HC Sean McVay says he was in the postgame locker room celebrating with teammates.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

After spending Saturday afternoon at the hospital, Rams’ QB John Wolford returned to LA last night with the team, per source. Both Rams’ QBs, Wolford (neck) and Jared Goff (thumb) are banged up, but in words of one source both “should be OK.”

This was the doomsday scenario for the Rams. Goff just had thumb surgery and was the only other active quarterback for the NFC Wild Card Game.

Lindsey Thiry @LindseyThiry

John Wolford to the locker room. Jared Goff in. No other QBs active. Emergency QBs: Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers, Johnny Hekker https://t.co/uIU0jbzFu4

Goff obviously got the green light to play; otherwise, he wouldn't have been available. But being healthy and being healthy enough to play at a high level are two separate things.

NFL Network's Omar Ruiz shared a video of the two-time Pro Bowler before the game and said he was "throwing with velocity."

Omar Ruiz @OmarDRuiz

Jared Goff is out warming up with a small bandage on his hand as OC Kevin O’Connell & Pass game coordinator Shane Waldron watch on, left of screen. Goff has been throwing with velocity & threw one 60 air yards. https://t.co/SkpsffmUzo

Wolford's injury also raises questions about Sean McVay's decision to list Blake Bortles as inactive.

No coach knows for sure whether his starting quarterback will get hurt, but it's always a possibility. Given the stakes of Saturday's game and with the knowledge of Goff's surgery, listing Bortles as the backup might have been a better alternative.

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

Bortles is not a very good quarterback. He’s also not Kendall Hinton, and the Rams are now Jared Goff’s finger away from being stuck in a Hinton situation. https://t.co/WQptJT0ac5

While Bortles only re-signed with the team in late December, he spent last season in Los Angeles, meaning he had some previous experience with McVay's offensive scheme.