There were a lot of odd things that happened over the course of the Rams’ 17-16 win over the Raiders on Thursday night, but perhaps the most puzzling decision was Sean McVay opting to start John Wolford and only let him play three snaps – all of which were handoffs to either Cam Akers or Tutu Atwell.
When Baker Mayfield took over and Wolford never took the field again, it left a lot of fans confused. What was the point of starting Wolford?
McVay tried to explain the decision but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“He felt good,” McVay said of Wolford after the game Thursday. “They came out in a personnel grouping that we felt like might’ve been to kind of just dare us to try to be able to throw it. We wanted to get Baker in, whether it was the second or the third series.”
“Felt good about it. I put us in a really bad spot. That third-down play call was terrible, where Maxx Crosby ends up tackling Tutu for a loss. It wasn’t anything that John didn’t do.”
“We wanted to be able to get Baker an opportunity to see if he could give us a spark, certainly he did that, being able to hit Van on his first throw.”
So Wolford felt good enough to start, and after seeing the defense dare the Rams to throw it, McVay had Wolford hand it off three times? That doesn’t seem to check out.
On Friday, McVay said Wolford was limited and pushing through a neck injury to be ready for the game. He specified that because of Wolford’s health, it prevented the Rams from running some of the plays they wanted to.
“Number one, John was doing everything he could to be ready for that game,” he said. “He was limited, but he was going to push through for the team. I think that says a lot about him.”
“It wasn’t anything that he didn’t do, it was something that we just felt like with some of the things in the health of John, Baker would give us an opportunity to run a couple different things that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to present to them defensively otherwise just because of John’s health.”
We don’t have to wonder who will start at quarterback moving forward because McVay said it’ll be Mayfield, but the way he handled the position this week was somewhat confusing.