The Rams placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve on Saturday because of a neck injury, almost certainly ending the 14-year-old’s pro season.
Stafford, 34, was released from concussion protocol on Friday but was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium.
John Wolford will start in place of Stafford.
The Rams have six games remaining. Stafford would not be eligible to return until the final two games against the Chargers and Seahawks. It seems unlikely the Rams will activate him for games that are on track to be meaningless for a team with a 3-8 record and a five-game losing streak heading into Sunday’s game.
Stafford joins star receiver Cooper Kupp, receiver Allen Robinson and other starters on injured reserve. Star defensive lineman Aaron Donald also will not play Sunday because of a high ankle sprain, which could put the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year on injured reserve.
Stafford threw for 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions, a dramatic drop from the previous season when he passed for 41 touchdowns with 17 interceptions, and led the Rams to a Super Bowl title.
Stafford, playing behind an injury-plagued offensive line, was in concussion protocol twice this season.
He was placed in the protocol for the first time two days after he was sacked four times in a November 6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla.
Stafford sat out one game and returned to New Orleans to start on November 20 against the New Orleans Saints. Stafford, however, left the game after being sacked in the third quarter and told medical personnel that he felt numbness in his legs.
Stafford sat out last Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo.
When asked on Friday where he leans on shutting down Stafford for the season, coach Sean McVay said there were “many layers” to the decision.
“I’m not an expert in that area,” he said, “but if there’s any sense in it that it’s going to be better in the long term or it’s going to be a few more weeks, things like that, I think that’s going to come from itself.” Caring for will end.