THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — With accidents persevering with to mount and a former No. 1 draft decide out there, the Los Angeles Rams shook issues up on Tuesday by claiming quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers.
The Rams’ 2022 season has been a disappointment following their storybook Tremendous Bowl win final season. Mayfield, who was the No. 1 decide within the 2018 by the Cleveland Browns, was waived by the Carolina Panthers Monday. He is now anticipated to fill in for Matthew Stafford all through the rest of the season.
Stafford was positioned on the injured reserve final week with a spinal twine contusion. His earliest potential return could be in Week 17, although Rams coach Sean McVay stated “there is a good probability” the quarterback is not going to play once more this season.
What does all of it imply for Mayfield and the Rams? We dive into the most important questions surrounding the quarterback’s new digs.
1. Why did the Rams make this transfer when they’re all however out of the playoff race?
The Rams wanted one other quarterback. With Stafford on injured reserve with a spinal twine contusion and certain out for the remainder of the season, they have been already leaning on backup John Wolford and third-string QB Bryce Perkins.
Wolford, who began the Rams’ Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, was checked out a number of occasions by the staff’s medical workers through the sport and was listed on Monday’s damage report with a neck damage.
Perkins has began one sport in his profession — a Week 12 loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs — and the Rams wanted a extra confirmed possibility.
Sure, the Rams are basically eradicated from the playoff image, however Los Angeles nonetheless has 5 video games left and wishes one other wholesome quarterback.
The Rams are additionally conscious that if Mayfield indicators with one other staff this offseason, they may obtain a compensatory decide in return.
2. The place does Mayfield match on the depth chart?
Mayfield is predicted to be the Rams’ starter, at the very least whereas Stafford is on injured reserve.
Now, whether or not that would be the case on Thursday when the Rams host the Las Vegas Raiders (8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video) stays to be seen, as Mayfield would have two days to study the playbook. There’s an opportunity Mayfield might play Thursday, a staff supply advised ESPN. The staff is within the means of sending him the playbook to verify he can research the offense on his flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, a supply advised ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen stated the staff is “sensible” about what it means to convey somebody in at this stage of the season “and what that really may seem like.” “Whether it is one thing that may present a spark and any individual that may are available in and assist us compete to win soccer video games, that is the final word objective for the final 5 weeks of the season,” Coen stated.
3. How does he match into Sean McVay’s offense?
When requested about how Mayfield suits into this Rams offense, Coen stated, “it is simply form of buying expertise, to be sincere.”
“Buying any individual to return in and consider him, but additionally our offense,” Coen stated. “Persevering with to guage the offense [and] the opposite gamers. It is extra so about buying expertise. Simply getting any individual in right here that we are able to proceed to develop some aggressive nature throughout the room.”
Coen, who was on the Rams’ workers in 2018 when the Cleveland Browns drafted Mayfield with the No. 1 decide, recalled that McVay appreciated Mayfield when he was popping out for the draft. Coen stated McVay and Mayfield “had some conversations” and that McVay “simply appreciated him as a dude.”
4. How does Mayfield match into the locker room?
Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris stated he does not know that Mayfield will need assistance to acclimate to this Rams locker room. “I feel he is bought sufficient social consciousness to have the ability to do this with the staff that he is coming to, with a few of the individuals you are going to be round,” Morris stated. “It is onerous to be round [this] sort of robust management, these sort of robust individuals and never attempt to discover your means.” Morris referenced linebacker Bobby Wagner, who had a management position for a very long time in Seattle, saying, “He was capable of finding his means across the locker room first and ease his means into it. And guys with widespread sense and guys with a number of moxie about themselves, they form of do this naturally.”
5. May Mayfield be on the roster subsequent season?
Making this transfer may point out the Rams are taken with determining another choice at backup quarterback going ahead, however I am below the impression the entrance workplace has principally targeted on what this implies for the remainder of the season, reasonably than 2023.
Wolford, who has been with the Rams since 2019, will probably be a free agent after this season, and Perkins does not have a lot NFL expertise.
Whereas the Rams will wish to consider Mayfield, they’re additionally conscious he could be enjoying with a depleted offense: broad receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are out and the offensive line has began 12 totally different mixtures in 12 video games.