Rams place Matthew Stafford on IR, all but ending disappointing season

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After they won the Super Bowl in February, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody accurately predicting the fate of the 2022 Los Angeles Rams.

They sit in last place in the NFC West with a 3-8 record, and their quarterback, who led them to the Super Bowl last season, will likely be out for the rest of the season.

The Rams placed Matthew Stafford (neck strain) on injured reserve Saturday, effectively ending his season.

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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of a game in Santa Clara, Calif., Oct. 3, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Stafford is eligible to return in Week 17 for the Rams’ penultimate game of the season, but it’s likely they will be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention by then. So, there wouldn’t be much benefit to playing him.

Stafford has dealt with injuries that date to training camp after he signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the team in March. Stafford had elbow surgery in the offseason. Considering his poor stats, it can be argued the issue affected him throughout this season.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford leaves the field in the second half of a game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans Nov. 20, 2022. 

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford leaves the field in the second half of a game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans Nov. 20, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

RAMS’ AARON DONALD TO MISS FIRST GAME DUE TO INJURY IN HIS CAREER

Stafford was placed in concussion protocol Nov. 9 and missed the Rams’ game four days later. He returned the following week against the New Orleans Saints, but he left that game with the neck injury.

Cooper Kupp also landed on IR after Week 10 with a high ankle sprain, while receiver Allen Robinson (foot) joined earlier this week. Aaron Donald will also miss Sunday’s game, the first time he has not played due to injury in his career.

To make matters worse, the Rams don’t own their first-round pick in 2023. The Rams traded that pick to Detroit when they acquired Stafford. If the season ended right now, that would be the fourth selection of the draft.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is sacked by New Orleans Saints defenders Tanoh Kpassagnon (90) and Demario Davis (56) in the second half of a game in New Orleans Nov. 20, 2022. 

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is sacked by New Orleans Saints defenders Tanoh Kpassagnon (90) and Demario Davis (56) in the second half of a game in New Orleans Nov. 20, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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The Rams will host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.

If Stafford does sit out the remainder of the season, he’ll finish with 2,087 passing yards while completing 67.8% of his passes with just 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games.

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