Matthew Stafford has taken his share of hits this season — one landing him in concussion protocol before the Week 10 Arizona Cardinals game.
Now, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback could be facing a second entrance into the protocol following the Rams’ 27-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, November 20.
Stafford had to go into the locker room before 3 p.m. Eastern and began getting evaluated for the head injury. Before that, he was putting together a strong outing in his return which included this 62-yard strike to Tutu Atwell:
Stafford went 11-of-18 for 159 yards and two touchdown passes before leaving for the rest of the game.
But with Stafford returning for an evaluation process, head coach Sean McVay got asked if it may be time to shut down his franchise quarterback.
McVay Announces Early Plan There
First per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, Stafford’s testing period was given this update at 4:36 p.m. Eastern.
“Matthew Stafford will undergo further testing Monday when back in Los Angeles to determine whether he will enter concussion protocol, per team,” Rodrigue tweeted.
But a reporter asked McVay, given the stacks of injuries and the hits Stafford has taken, if it’s time to shut down Stafford for the rest of the season.
“I think it’s probably too soon for me to be able to answer that one,” he said to the media. “There’s a lot of things that we’re working through that are, I would say, unprecedented.”
Other Injury Notes & New McVay Stat
Stafford wasn’t the only significant injury at the Caesar’s Superdome.
Ty Nsekhe, who got his elevation to the starting lineup at left tackle, had to leave the game with a knee injury. Bobby Evans took over the blindside reins from there.
The veteran Nsekhe, 36, got moved to the blindside after Alaric Jackson was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, November 15 due to blood clots. McVay told the media per Zoom that Jackson has to be on blood thinner medication. Evans, however, became the fourth left tackle option for the Rams this season. Rodrigue reported that Nsekhe was seen in a walking boot and crutches after the game.
On the other trenches, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson left with a knee injury as well. Robinson was listed as questionable to play against the Saints anyway due to an illness. But his knee ailment occurred during the first half. Second-year nose tackle Bobby Brown and Marquise Copeland are the remaining NT options outside of Robinson — with the former getting his first 2022 action against the Cardinals on November 13 after sitting out the first half of the season due to a league suspension for violation of the NFL’s substance policy.
Sunday additionally marked the first time the Rams were without Cooper Kupp since January 3, 2021 — when he got placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Allen Robinson and Tyler Higbee both shared the lead in receptions with four.
The Saints’ loss now gave McVay and the Rams their fourth straight loss…a first for the 36-year-old head coach. His previous worst was the three-game slides from 2019 and 2021. Again, he’s dealing with his first pileup on injuries in his head coaching career. But he shared what he has appreciated from the 2022 season.
“What I do appreciate is the way guys continue to battle, continue to try to compete, and we’re gonna coach these guys up that we’ve got,” McVay said.
Regarding the quarterback, McVay said “As far as it relates to Matthew, we’re gonna be smart for him. He’s such a warrior, he’s such a stud competitor. I know how badly he wants to be out there and thought he played really well with the opportunities that he did have.”