Rams reportedly signing Carson Wentz as backup to Matthew Stafford

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National Football League

Nov. 7, 2023 2:59 p.m. ET

More than seven years after passing him up with the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams are reportedly signing quarterback Carson Wentz, according to ESPN.

Wentz will slot in as the backup to veteran Matthew Stafford, who injured the thumb in his throwing hand late in the Rams’ Oct. 29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Brett Rypien, who started in Stafford’s place against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, struggled mightily in a 20-3 loss at Green Bay.

The Rams (3-6) have a bye this coming week, and head coach Sean McVay told reporters Sunday that he feels “optimistic” about Stafford’s recovery in time to be ready for the Rams’ next game at home against Seattle on Nov. 19.

Wentz initially looked as though he would make the Rams regret passing him up for Jared Goff in 2016, emerging as an MVP candidate in 2017. However, a late-season ACL injury — against none other than the Rams — forced him to watch the Philadelphia Eagles‘ ensuing Super Bowl run from the sidelines. Wentz regressed after returning from his injury and was eventually traded to the Colts in 2021. He was then dealt to the Commanders in 2022. He continued to struggle and went unsigned in free agency last offseason.

Stafford, whom the Rams acquired from the Detroit Lions in exchange for Goff in 2021, won the Super Bowl in his first season in L.A. but missed the second half of last season due to a neck issue as the Rams limped to a 5-12 record. The 35-year-old Stafford has now missed games due to injury in back-to-back years.

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