Rams News: Biggest Issue in LA's Prep for Midseason Opponent

An intriguing look at one of the biggest question marks on the team's 2024 slate.
Oct 8, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates after a touchdown by wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates after a touchdown by wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Rams are slated to suit up against a Minnesota Vikings squad with an uncertain signal caller situation, in a Thursday Night Football matchup on October 24. The action will be broadcast at 5:15 p.m. PT on Amazon Prime Video.

In a new "opponent breakdown" piece fromStu Jackson of TheRams.com, Jackson takes a look at the biggest question hanging over Minnesota's 2024 season: who will be starting at quarterback?

The Vikings selected reigning College Football Playoff national champion J.J. McCarthy with the No. 10 pick in April's 2024 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan, and though he doesn't necessarily have the expected rocket-armed upside of, say, No. 1 pick Caleb Williams, his leadership and intangibles could make him into a Brock Purdy-esque sleeper.

Minnesota also has a good-not-great incumbent, Sam Darnold, on its roster.

"Will it still be Darnold under center in Week 8, or will McCarthy make his first start that week? Will McCarthy have started a game before then?" wonders Jackson. "From the perspective of the Rams defense, preparing for a veteran running Minnesota's offense will likely be different than preparing for a rookie. It has faced Darnold once before, when he was with the Jets in 2020, but this is a different offensive system, and Los Angeles' defense has had some turnover since then personnel-wise."

By Week 8, Los Angeles will probably have a sense of who to game plan against on the other side. McCarthy has the upside, but Darnold's veteran season may have earned him the nod for the year.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM