Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday that he would “lean toward” having new quarterback Baker Mayfield available against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night at SoFi Stadium but stopped short of saying Mayfield would play.
“It would be unprecedented from my experiences because of everything that a quarterback’s asked to do, to bring him in in such a short period of time and have him go out there,” McVay said during a videoconference. “But I do think he would be capable of it if we asked.
“But we’ll take that really one day at a time until,” Thursday.
Matthew Stafford is on injured reserve because of spinal cord bruise and is expected to be out for the rest of the season. Backup John Wolford is nursing a neck injury, and McVay said he was questionable for Thursday’s game. Bryce Perkins also could start against the Raiders.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield, drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2018, is claimed by the Rams after being waived by the Carolina Panthers.
So, the opportunity to sign Mayfield was apparently too good to pass up.
“When you have a player of his caliber come available and you look at just the circumstances and the situation surrounding our quarterback room, we felt like it was the right move for us,” McVay said.
Is Mayfield a possibility as a long-term backup for Stafford?
“There’s an excitement about being able to work with him for what we know is five more weeks,” McVay said, “and whether he plays in five games or four games is to be determined.
“But I’m excited about that, and I think as we continue to accumulate that information that kind of will answer itself.”
Mayfield, 27, played four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before he was traded last summer to the Panthers.
With the Rams all but eliminated from playoff contention, the team likely is shutting down Matthew Stafford as he recovers from a spinal cord bruise.
Mayfield has started 65 NFL games and has a 30-35 record. This season, he has passed for six touchdowns, with six interceptions. He was sidelined because of an ankle injury when the Rams defeated the Panthers on Oct. 16 at SoFi Stadium, the Rams’ last victory before their current six-game losing streak.
He has not played since Nov. 20, when he completed 21 of 33 passes for 196 yards, with two interceptions, in a 13-3 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
“He’s a guy that I’ve always respected his game,” McVay said, “and liked a lot of the things he brings to the table.”
Upon acquiring Mayfield, McVay said he received a text from USC coach Lincoln Riley, who coached Mayfield at Oklahoma. Riley “can’t speak highly enough” about Mayfield, McVay said.
McVay said the Rams did not claim Mayfield to block the San Francisco 49ers, a Super Bowl contender that lost quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to injuries.