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Matthew Stafford clears concussion protocol but is out with neck injury; John Wolford to start

Chris Simms and Mike Florio preview the NFC West showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, where injuries continue to haunt the defending Super Bowl champions.

There is some good news on the injury front for Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. But it’s not so good that he’ll be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

Head coach Sean McVay said at his Friday press conference that Stafford has cleared concussion protocol. But he’s out for Week 13 with his neck injury.

The Rams will start John Wolford at quarterback against Seattle.

McVay noted there’s still a chance Stafford will be shut down for the rest of the season, in part because the nature of Stafford’s neck injury means it’s difficult to test how healthy the quarterback’s neck is without the contact of an actual game.

But, McVay noted, the injury is not something that’s expected to linger into 2023 for Stafford.

“What we’ve got to figure out is with six games remaining, how much is he going to be available and what’s the best step for him?” McVay said.

If it so happens that there’s a chance Stafford could play but the Rams shut down Stafford anyway, McVay said he’s willing to be the proverbial bad guy, since he knows Stafford is going to want to play.

“He can be upset with me, but I think he knows I have his best interest and we have his best interest [in mind],” McVay said. “And if that’s the case, then that’s definitely a possibility. But he’s going to want to play.”

As for this week, McVay said Wolford will start in part because he has more experience than Perkins. But Perkins will be ready to play and it sounds like there’s a possibility the Rams could use both quarterbacks.

Wolford started against the Seahawks in the 2020 wild card round, but had to leave the game due to injury after just 15 snaps. In his start against the Cardinals in Week 10, Wolford was 24-of-36 passing for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also fumbled twice, losing one.

Last week against the Chiefs, Perkins finished 13-of-23 for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed nine times for 44 yards.