INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Sean McVay’s answer to the question was a bit surprising, but maybe it shouldn’t be considering the circumstances.
Asked directly if Jared Goff would be the starter for the Los Angeles Rams in the team’s NFC Wild Card contest on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, McVay seemed to provide some wiggle room for remaining with backup John Wolford.
“I’m not sure on that right now,” McVay said.
Goff did not start his team’s season finale over the weekend due to a broken thumb on his right, throwing hand that required surgery. The team is hopeful with a week of rest that Goff could be available on Saturday.
In an earlier answer to a question during the video conference call with reporters after his team’s 18-7 victory that propelled them into the postseason, McVay provided a little more meat on the bone.
“We will talk about that, but I thought he did a great job today,” McVay said, when asked if Wolford would start against Seattle on Saturday. “He made plays. I know there are guys around him that are capable of making some of those, and I expect those guys to be able to do that.
“But I thought that he really gave us a chance offensively with the amount of plays that he made in the pass game with his legs, athleticism, being able to extend things -- I thought he was outstanding against a really tough defense that came ready to go. I was really pleased with John.”
Wolford said all the right things when asked how he would feel about going back to the bench if Goff was ready to go.
“I’m here to do a job,” Wolford said. “I have no idea where he’s (Goff) at. I’m just trying to enjoy this win and then I’ll put my head down and work on Seattle starting tomorrow, but no info on that.”
After a wobbly start that included an interception on the second play of the game, Wolford settled down, finishing 22-of-38 (57.9 percent) for 231 passing yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Wolford was sacked twice, posting a 64.7 passer rating.
Wolford was the leading rusher for the Rams, finishing with 56 rushing yards on six carries. According to the team, it’s the most a Rams’ quarterback has rushed for in a game since Trent Green scrambled for 54 yards 21 years ago.
Give Wolford credit, he’s 1-0 as a starter and helped lead the Rams to an important victory, making plays for his team in a high-pressure situation.
Still, the Rams did not score a touchdown, going 0-for-4 in the red zone. Wolford showed he certainly has enough talent to one day compete for a starting job in the NFL, but the Rams have 134 million reasons to start Goff against the Seahawks on Saturday.
There’s no harm in McVay creating some uncertainty early in the week in an attempt to manufacture a competitive advantage by providing some cloudiness as to who the starter for the Rams will be on Saturday.
As defensive lineman Morgan Fox stated, the Rams have confidence in both players.
“Our job is to give them the ball for whoever is back there, give them a chance to score and put them in good position,” Fox said. “We have confidence in both of them.”
However, if Goff is healthy, he should start.
Goff has been in McVay’s system for four years, knows the offense intimately and would give the Rams the best opportunity to get to the right play, down-in and down-out.
Goff’s been there. He’s played in a Super Bowl and has a 2-2 record in the postseason, so the moment will not be too big for him.
Goff has good chemistry with the starting group and should be more effective in those got-to-have-it situations than Wolford, including third down, red zone and at the end of games.
Lastly, these moments are why the Rams signed Goff to a four-year, $134 million extension two years ago. If Goff can properly grip a football and is healthy, let him sling it in the rain at Lumen Field in Seattle on Saturday.