Rams won’t know till Sunday if Matthew Stafford can play against Cardinals

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is hit by Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45).
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9), shown being hit by Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45), is still in concussion protocol.
(Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has been in concussion protocol since Tuesday, will be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, coach Sean McVay said Friday.

“He’s making good progress,” McVay said. “Got a good workout in, he was out throwing and working [Thursday] and making good progress and steady progression.”

McVay said Stafford would practice Friday “in a limited fashion.” A final determination on Stafford’s availability against the Cardinals “could go all the way up to 90 minutes before kickoff,” McVay said.


“I think it would be silly of me to rule him out when you’re talking about our quarterback, a guy that means so much to us,” McVay said. “If there’s a possibility, while not being able to risk him, that’s where we are with that.”

Stafford went into concussion protocol two days after he was sacked four times during a 16-13 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that dropped the Rams’ record to 3-5.

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If Stafford does not play, John Wolford will start in his place. Wolford, who has not played this season, has experience starting against the Cardinals.

In 2020, with Jared Goff sidelined because of a thumb injury, Wolford started the season-finale in Arizona. His first pass was intercepted, but he completed 22 of 38 passes for 231 yards in an 18-7 victory that clinched a playoff spot.

Wolford also started an NFC wild-card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks but left the game after suffering a neck injury during the first quarter.


In four career games, Wolford has completed 23 of 42 passes for 236 yards, with two interceptions. He also has rushed for 55 yards in eight carries.

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Bryce Perkins would back up Wolford.

Left tackle Alaric Jackson will be listed as doubtful because of a knee injury, McVay said. Ty Nsekhe would start in his place.

McVay said that offensive lineman Coleman Shelton also will return from injured reserve. Shelton has not played since an Oct. 3 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

Rookie running back Kyren Williams also will be activated from injured reserve. Williams has not played since suffering an ankle injury on special teams during the Rams’ season’-opening defeat to the Buffalo Bills.