As the Los Angeles Rams prepare for a potentially deep run into the NFL Playoffs, head coach Sean McVay is taking all measures to keep his team rested and healthy heading for the games that matter most. So, to almost no surprise, McVay has opted to rest a host of starters for this weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, including starting quarterback Jared Goff.
Among the #Rams who won’t play on Sunday: QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley and DT Aaron Donald. Rested and healthy for the playoffs.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2017
Goff being moved out of the starter’s spot for the week now means the reigns of the offense will be handed over to third-year pro Sean Mannion, as confirmed by a multiple of news outlets, including Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News. The start will be Mannion’s first of his career and quite possibly, the most authentic football action that he’s seen at the professional moment.
In his previous playing time, Mannion has mostly played “mop up” duty in blowout wins or losses.
The good news for Mannion is that he’ll finally have a chance to prove himself for either the Rams or another NFL team, who will surely be scouting the unheralded Oregon State product. However, the bad news is that he’ll have to undertake his starting debut with a large portion of the Rams’ usual offense on the bench.
Besides Goff, running back Todd Gurley and offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan are also expected to be held out of the line-up as well. Additionally, important targets like Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp will all likely see reduced workloads as well.
In Lehman’s terms, Mannion will basically be operating with a second string group around him, at a multitude of different positions. However, that shouldn’t dampen what is expected to be an exciting opportunity for the former Beavers star.