Rams giving Carson Wentz first start in over a year with playoffs ahead

The Los Angeles Rams will start Super Bowl champion Carson Wentz at quarterback in Week 18 to give their usual starter, Matthew Stafford, some rest ahead of the NFL playoffs. 

Wentz, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, has not thrown a pass in an NFL game since Jan. 1, 2023, when he played for the Washington Commanders. 

Since the Rams already locked up a playoff spot in the NFC, head coach Sean McVay is going to temporarily hand things over to Wentz.

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Carson Wentz of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Dec. 31, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Wentz will face the San Francisco 49ers, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, who will have backup Blaine Gabbert in for Brock Purdy at quarterback.

Wentz signed with the Rams in November after Los Angeles released Stafford’s backup, Brett Rypien. Wentz will start for his fourth different team in four seasons. 

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The 31-year-old signal-caller played his first five seasons in Philadelphia as the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, and things went well for the North Dakota State product. In his second season, he got a Pro Bowl nod and was second-team All-Pro after throwing for 3,296 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions and posting an 11-2 record as a starter. 

However, an injury during the regular season derailed what could’ve been an MVP season for Wentz. Nick Foles, his backup, took over and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Carson Wentz looks on field

Carson Wentz of the Los Angeles Rams before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Dec. 31, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Wentz remained the starter in Philadelphia, where he performed well until the 2020 season, when he went 3-8-1. Back injuries also cost him playing time. 

The Eagles traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts before the 2021 season. He led the Colts to a 9-8 record, but they failed to reach the playoffs.

Wentz was traded again to the Commanders last season. He was the team’s initial starter before he was benched after a 2-4 start in favor of Taylor Heinecke. Wentz waited until Week 17 of last season before getting another start from head coach Ron Rivera. 

Carson Wentz looks on field

Carson Wentz of the Los Angeles Rams before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Dec. 31, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

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This opportunity with the Rams is a chance for Wentz to show his current team it has the right backup for Stafford and prove he can still be a viable quarterback in the league.  

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