It is too early for the Los Angeles Rams to know if Matthew Stafford will be healthy enough to start at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, leaving coach Sean McVay to prepare for all possibilities.
Brett Rypien took first-team reps in practice on Wednesday, and Dresser Winn ran the scout team after being signed to the practice squad. Stafford was unavailable after spraining a ligament in his right thumb during a 40-23 loss at the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday.
“We’re just taking it a day at a time,” McVay said. “Obviously, (Stafford) won’t participate today, and we’ll have contingency plans for both situations that could potentially arise.”
Stafford doesn’t necessarily have to practice this week in order to play, McVay said, citing the Super Bowl winner’s experience.
“It’s one of those deals that you give him up until right before the game, you know,” McVay said. “You use all the time necessary for a player like him.”
Rypien said he would be comfortable if a decision on Stafford’s availability doesn’t come until 90 minutes before Sunday’s game.
“I’m gonna prepare like I’m gonna start either way this week,” Rypien said. “I think that’s what you do all the time, especially when a guy is dealing with an injury, and he’s not practicing. It definitely heightens that level of awareness.”
McVay also ruled out placing Stafford on injured reserve, which would see him miss a minimum of four games.
Rypien got his first regular-season action with the Rams (3-5) in relief on Sunday, going 5-of-10 passing for 42 yards. He threw for 778 yards and four touchdowns against eight interceptions and made three starts in three seasons with the Denver Broncos.
“My first start was during the COVID year in New York in New York, and there was no fans, so that was an interesting experience and got the win there,” Rypien said. “Every game is different, so I think you just take each snap as it is.”
Rypien went through offseason workouts and training camp with the Rams before being waived during cutdowns. He was re-signed to the practice squad in August before being called up to the active roster in September when rookie Stetson Bennett was placed on the non-football injury list.
“In my five years in the NFL, I’ve kind of been through every type of situation that you can possibly go through,” Rypien said. “I’ve been third-string active, I’ve been the backup. I’ve had moments where I’ve played, obviously. … You just have to try to find a way to get better each week and just continue to focus on the task at hand.”
McVay said there would only be minor changes to the offense if Rypien starts. The Rams are averaging 245 yards passing per game, which ranks eighth in the NFL.
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“I don’t think that’s fair to say to Brett that you would do that,” McVay said. “But you know that Matthew is a unique player that can do so many special things. It’s why he’s got the résumé throughout the course of his career. It’s why he is who he is. So to say that you can operate exactly the same way, I think that’d be a little silly, but we do have confidence in Brett to be able to operate our offense.”
Winn was also with the Rams during the offseason and training camp, going 3-of-5 passing for 21 yards in one preseason game. McVay said the 24-year-old rookie from Tennessee-Martin was brought back because of his familiarity with the offense.
NOTES: RT Rob Havenstein(calf) missed practice after not playing against the Cowboys. … RB Darrell Henderson Jr. was signed to the active roster from the practice squad after gaining 85 yards from scrimmage at Dallas in the first game of his second stint with the Rams. The move cleared a spot for Winn to rejoin the team.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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