It’s uncertain how quickly coach Sean McVay will incorporate Mayfield into the Rams’ offense, but there’s a chance he could play Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders.
“They sent the playbook to him to study on the plane,” said Chargers backup and The 33rd Team analyst Chase Daniel. “I think personally it’s a tough task to try to be ready to play on two days’ notice with a system that is really wordy. But you never know.”
Though Los Angeles was the only organization to place a claim on Mayfield, the Rams took no chances in keeping Mayfield from going to the division-rival San Francisco 49ers, who now will likely ride into the playoffs with 2022 Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a potentially season-ending broken foot on Sunday.
The Rams do have a substantial need of their own at quarterback, albeit with much less at stake. The defending champs are 3-9 and all but eliminated from postseason play.
Matthew Stafford will likely miss the rest of the season because of a spinal cord contusion that is reportedly still causing numbness in his legs. And backup John Wolford is dealing with a neck injury of his own after taking nine hits and four sacks against the Seahawks on Sunday. Even though the Rams didn’t practice on Monday, Wolford was listed as an estimated non-participant. Mayfield joins Bryce Perkins as the only two quarterbacks on the active roster who are fully healthy.
The Rams will pick up the remaining $1.35 million on Mayfield’s contract and give him an opportunity to showcase his skills in his third NFL offense in less than a year.
“Baker’s got a shot these last four or five games to not only show McVay but the league what he can do,” Daniel said. “And if the Rams lose him next year as a free agent, they get an extra (compensatory) draft pick. So it’s a win-win situation for the Rams, and hopefully for Baker, he can pick (the system) up and play well.”