The Seattle Seahawks have begun preparing for this week’s Wild Card Round playoff battle with the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, but they won’t know whether Jared Goff or John Wolford will be under center until one minute before kickoff.
“Saturday at 1:39 p.m.,” Rams coach Sean McVay said during a Zoom call with media members Tuesday. “I’m not going to make an announcement on who is starting this week. I’m not going to answer that question.”
Goff is recovering from a thumb injury suffered on Dec. 27 vs. the Seahawks that ultimately required surgery. The 26-year-old brings a wealth of experience as the Rams get ready for their third playoff appearance in the last four seasons. Through 15 games this season, he has passed for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns.
"Jared is our starting quarterback, and the reality is that he had a thumb surgery," McVay said. "We're monitoring that every single day and that's something that we're taking a day at a time, but the anticipation is that both those guys are getting themselves ready to go."
While Goff is rehabbing, backup Wolford completed 22-of-38 passes for 231 yards and an interception in his NFL debut vs. Arizona to help Los Angeles secure its spot on Wild Card Weekend. He also rushed for 56 yards on six carries.
As Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner mentioned following Seattle’s 26-23 victory over San Francisco in Sunday’s season finale, they are preparing for either quarterback to line up under center for the Rams at Lumen Field.
“It’s just another divisional game,” Wagner said. “I’m pretty sure we’ve had games where we play Arizona two times in three weeks or San Fran two times in three weeks, so it won’t be any different. Obviously, they are going to have a different quarterback so we’re going to have to watch film on him. But we understand what they bring in, we understand the stakes and we’ll be ready.”
The Seahawks, on the other hand, will be at almost full strength heading into the weekend. Offensive tackle Brandon Shell was a full participant on Tuesday after a brief stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Mike Iupati was limited Tuesday after missing the previous two games with a neck injury. DeeJay Dallas (ankle) also returned to practice after sustaining a grade 3 ankle sprain in Week 15.
The big question is whether key defensive players Jamal Adams and Jarran Reed will be able to go. When asked about Adams on Tuesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said they will go all the way up to game time on Adams. Reed’s status remains unclear for Saturday.
"We're going to be real careful with him during the week and see how he goes day-to-day," Carroll said. "He's much better than he was on the weekend, so there's cause for optimism there."