As long as Sean McVay is running the Los Angeles Rams, don't expect to see quarterback Matthew Stafford play during the preseason. The head coach was asked whether or not his new quarterback would get any playing time throughout the exhibition season. McVay not only shut it down for 2021 but for Stafford's entire tenure with the team so long as he's in charge.
"There is zero chance you will ever see Matthew Stafford take a snap in the preseason for the Rams as long as I'm the coach. That will never happen," McVay told the Doug Gottlieb Show, via Rams Wire. "He is not going to play. That's why it's important for us to try to get competitive 'opps' against some of these other teams in practice settings. Practicing against the Cowboys this Saturday. Get the Raiders twice. So we're always looking for those things. Until you tell me that if a guy gets hurt in the preseason that we'll get those games back or they'll add them on the schedule afterwards as, 'Oh yeah, you get two games because you lost those guys in the preseason,' it's hard for me to make sense of it."
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Holding veterans who have a cemented roster spot out of the preseason has been commonplace in Los Angeles under McVay, so it's not entirely surprising to see him follow suit with Stafford. That said, given that the quarterback is in the midst of his first summer with the Rams following the trade from Detroit, there is a case to be made for him to see game action. Instead, McVay will opt for competitive practice reps -- which are a bit more controlled -- rather than expose Stafford to potential injury in a preseason game that ultimately has no consequence to their upcoming season.
Los Angeles already had a scare surrounding a potential Stafford injury when the veteran banged his surgically repaired thumb in practice. According to reports, Stafford avoided serious injury, but it's likely another reason for McVay to keep his new quarterback in bubble wrap until Week 1.