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Injury-riddled LA Rams claim QB Baker Mayfield off waivers – KGET 17

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams claimed quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers Tuesday, adding the former No. 1 pick to their options behind the injured Matthew Stafford for the rest of the season.

Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns starter, was released by the Panthers on Monday at his request after seven disappointing games with Carolina.

The struggling Rams host the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, and it’s unclear whether Mayfield could be ready to participate on a team that already includes backup quarterback John Wolford — who has battled a neck injury and other ailments — and Bryce Perkins.

“My God, you’d probably know as much about it now as I do,” offensive coordinator Liam Coen told reporters when asked if Mayfield could play Thursday. “I couldn’t tell you. I didn’t talk to him. I’ve only heard great things about him, his professional nature in Carolina and some of the things that happened there.”

Coach Sean McVay wasn’t scheduled to speak to reporters Tuesday after acquiring a quarterback whose talents intrigued him out of college at Oklahoma, but both of his coordinators praised the acquisition.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said. “This guy was a very good football player. He brought Cleveland almost from the ashes. This game is thankless at times. We have an opportunity to get guys who have nothing to lose, and something to prove is always great.”

After league-wide speculation that Mayfield would join the rival San Francisco 49ers or Baltimore Ravens, Mayfield will instead look to help the injury-plagued Rams (3-9). Los Angeles has lost six straight games during what is shaping up to be the worst season in NFL history for a defending Super Bowl champion.

The Rams have almost no reason to hang around the rest of the season because their first-round pick belongs to Detroit, and they clearly need help at quarterback. Stafford is almost certainly out for the season with a spinal cord contusion, and Wolford and Perkins have been fairly ineffective while combining to start three of their last four games, all losses. Wolford passed for 178 yards without a touchdown in last week’s loss to Seattle.

But it’s unclear how much help Mayfield can provide: He had a poor season with the Panthers, who acquired him for a fifth-round pick in July after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson to end his tenure in Cleveland, where he was a four-year starter and projected tight end The franchise’s 18-year playoff drought in 2020.

Mayfield won the first straight in training camp with Carolina, but went 1-5 as a starter while throwing six touchdown passes and six interceptions. Sam Darnold and PJ Walker have also outplayed him in recent weeks.

McVay often got credit for developing Kirk Cousins ​​into a solid NFL starter during McVay’s time as Washington’s offensive coordinator. As head coach, McVay led the Rams to four winning seasons, three playoff berths and a Super Bowl appearance with Jared Goff at the helm. McVay then became the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl title last season after trading Goff for Stafford, who had one of the most impressive seasons of his long career.

Whether this latest partnership lasts just five games or longer, McVay will have a chance to decide if Mayfield can still be the quarterback McVay thought he would be coming out of Oklahoma.

“It’s an opportunity for assessment,” Coen said. “You’re always looking for competition at every position and you’re looking for an opportunity to evaluate talent. That was the goal. … We feel good about our room and the quarterback we have for the future of the Los Angeles Rams, which is Matthew Stafford, but obviously we feel pretty good about somebody coming in here and competing at a high level for us.”

Stafford, 34, is under contract through the 2026 season, but his injuries and two stints in the concussion protocol — although the Rams have not confirmed that Stafford has ever suffered a concussion this season — has sparked widespread speculation about how long he plans to continue career.

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