THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — He is never ever performed a snap in the NFL, but quarterback John Wolford will be depended on to direct the Los Angeles Rams to a playoff berth immediately after starter Jared Goff underwent surgical procedure on his suitable thumb and will be sidelined at minimum a 7 days.
In the midst of their very first two-sport losing streak this period, the Rams (9-six) can even now clinch a playoff spot in 7 days seventeen with either a victory around the Arizona Cardinals (eight-7) (4:25 p.m. Sunday, Fox) or a Green Bay Packers get at the Chicago Bears (eight-7).
McVay expects Goff to return for a playoff run, but in the meantime the Rams will need the mobile six-foot-1, two hundred-pound Wolford — who very easily could be mistaken for head mentor Sean McVay’s kid brother — to step up in his very first NFL look.
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“John’s accomplished a wonderful career planning himself all calendar year,” McVay said Monday. “If you check out the way that he is worked at it, I know there is self esteem from coaches and from his teammates and men will will need to rally all around him, but we’re energized about the possibility that John will have to direct the offense this 7 days.”
Wolford’s most meaningful time on the subject this period arrived all through the Rams’ preseason intrasquad scrimmages at SoFi Stadium.
“He is acquired some Doug Flutie form things to him,” McVay said immediately after Wolford demonstrated an ability to extend plays in sport-like eventualities.
Right before the period, Wolford expressed self esteem about his ability to run McVay’s offense.
“It can be something I have prepped for my overall everyday living,” said Wolford, who turned 25 in Oct. “I have performed a whole lot of football in between higher education and the AAF and this is kind of the future step and I am all set to go when that shot arrives.”
Wolford invested the 2019 period on the Rams’ apply squad, mimicking each and every quarterback the staff ready for — from the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees to the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, even as McVay joked “We’ll see if he located some excess pace,” all through Baltimore 7 days.
As Goff’s backup this period, Wolford has continued much of his scout-staff responsibility, furnishing appears to be like for the Rams’ leading-rated protection.
“Even though he hasn’t gotten any reside action in games, I do have a whole lot of self esteem in John and his preparing stage,” said Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who also serves as quarterbacks mentor, before 7 days sixteen. “The regularity at which he methods his position, both of those certainly backing up Jared, but also servicing one of the ideal defenses in the league just about every day.”
Wolford was three days from starting up a new career at a non-public fairness agency in August 2018 when he gained an inconceivable phone call from the New York Jets.
Immediately after likely undrafted from Wake Forest — where by began four seasons and handed for eight,794 yards and fifty nine touchdowns, the second-most in school record, and also rushed for 19 scores although successful the Belk Bowl MVP as a senior in 2017 — the Jets preferred to signal him.
Wolford’s stint in New York lasted ten days, integrated three methods and extended actively playing time in a preseason finale, before he was unceremoniously permit go.
Practically three months later, Wolford began to receive the Rams’ consideration when he lit up the Alliance of American Football (AAF) with the Arizona Hotshots, passing for 1,617 yards and a league-higher fourteen touchdowns, with seven interceptions, in eight games and 2 times gained offensive player of the 7 days honors.
When the fledgling league folded with two games remaining in its period, the Rams signed Wolford to a cost-free-agent agreement.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars very first-spherical pick Blake Bortles served as Goff’s backup previous period, actively playing on a one-calendar year offer. Nevertheless, the Rams did not re-signal Bortles or deliver in any other veteran quarterback moving into 2020, expressing self esteem in Wolford’s ability.
“You never ever know accurately how this issue sorts by itself out, but if you said, ‘We’re likely into a period and John Wolford is your backup and God forbid something happen to Jared, do you imagine he can arrive in function and have you functionality as an offense?’ The respond to is certainly,'” Rams basic supervisor Les Snead said around the offseason.
As it turns out, with Goff now sidelined for at minimum a 7 days, the Rams will signal Bortles to the active roster from the Denver Broncos’ apply squad mainly because of his knowledge of their offense. But McVay reiterated self esteem in Wolford.
“John is the dude,” McVay said. “Then you want to make positive you have some insurance coverage insurance policies.”
Bryce Perkins, a rookie undrafted cost-free agent from Virginia, also is on the Rams apply squad and could be elevated to the active roster.
McVay said Monday the Rams remained in the course of action of identifying how to maximize Wolford’s skillsets.
“It can be crucial that he would not feel like he needs to adjust everything with his solution,” McVay said, including later, “He is acquired a wonderful feel. I imagine uncanny is a great way to describe it, in phrases of just staying ready to understand points, comprehend.”
Wolford is not the very first backup who has never ever performed in a frequent-period NFL sport with their present staff to be thrust into a starting up position in a period finale with playoff implications, in accordance to the Elias Athletics Bureau. Given that 1990, the Rams are the 3rd staff to be put in this condition — with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jaguars each and every executing it 2 times.