Free Agent QB & Past Record Breaker a Potential Emergency Fit for Rams

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay walks off the field on November 20, 2022 in New Orleans.

As of Monday night, November 21, Matthew Stafford is still undergoing a lengthy evaluation for a possible concussion for the second time this season.

The Los Angeles Rams quarterback had to leave during the 27-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Sean McVay then helped specify the current situation involving the Super Bowl winning quarterback.

“Yesterday, when we went into the tent, (we) got his symptoms, he checked out feeling pretty good, but we wanted to be over-precautious,” McVay said during a video conference on Zoom with L.A. reporters on Monday. “But where he’s at right now, as it relates to his status, still in evaluation to see if we are going to put him in the protocol.”

But outside of Stafford, backup John Wolford was ruled out for the Saints game with a neck injury. McVay mentioned that if both aren’t available, he is in talks with general manager Les Snead about the possibility of adding someone as potential contingency plans.

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A lot can still change when the Rams return to practice on Wednesday in Thousand Oaks. However, if the Rams do need to pivot to free agency, a recently released NFC West quarterback and former record-breaker could be an option since he’s available.

Past Record Breaker Became Odd Man Out at Rival

Kurt Benkert is currently without an NFL home, after the rival San Francisco 49ers parted ways with him on November 15.

Benkert himself announced on his personal Twitter he had been released by the Rams’ primary rival.

Benkert, 27, established himself as a record-breaking passer at the University of Virginia. He left UVA as the single-season program leader in passing yardage at 3,207 yards, completions with 298 and shattered the single game passing yardage record with a 455-yard outing against Connecticut in 2017.

And his eventual replacement in Charlottesville? Rams backup Bryce Perkins, who has been thrown into the huddle the last two games for the Rams. Perkins, currently, is the only healthy option in the QB room.

Benkert has experience backing up three quarterbacks who played in a Super Bowl: Matt Ryan with the Atlanta Falcons from 2018 to 2020, Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers last season and, for 10 weeks, Benkert was in a QB room with Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers. If the Rams give him a chance, Stafford becomes the fourth who played in the big game that he could team with.

The Rams suddenly have the look of being QB needy, and the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Benkert would be seen as an insurance policy if the Rams are down to his fellow Virginia Cavalier Perkins for the Chiefs game.

McVay Explains Low Snaps for Starting RB & Addresses Other Injuries

There were analysts who were perplexed with how Darrell Henderson went from starting running back against the Saints to only playing four snaps.

McVay, though, helped explain the reasoning on Zoom: “Hendo” felt “a little something in his knee pregame.” Cam Akers and rookie Kyren Williams handled the backfield reins from there. Henderson’s status versus the Chiefs is to be determined.

Meanwhile in the trenches, blindside tackle Ty Nsekhe left the Saints loss with a sprained ankle. McVay said Nsekhe will be monitored, but McVay adds there is a chance he’ll be available for the Week 12 road trip to Kansas City.

Defensively, A’Shawn Robinson suffered a knee injury. The Rams are still looking at the nose tackle but McVay says his knee “doesn’t look good.”

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