Matthew Stafford expected to start for the Rams against the Seahawks

INGLEWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 17, 2023: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford spent the Rams' off week healing his injured right thumb. Carson Wentz began learning the playbook and acclimating to his new role as Stafford’s backup.

And coach Sean McVay devoted time to his wife and weeks-old son.

“Being able to have the baby a couple weeks ago and spend some time, you know, learning how to change diapers and all that kind of stuff — I mean I went all in,” McVay said Monday during a videoconference with reporters. “So I wasn't just sitting on the sideline watching.

Read more: Analysis: Rams' season is at crossroads but barring playoff run, building blocks are set for 2024

“I was trying to help out and not get in my wife’s way…. It was really a good week, a lot of Mr. Dad, which was kind of cool. I could get used to it.”

The Rams (3-6) returned to practice Monday to begin preparations for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at SoFi Stadium.

Stafford, who sat out a Nov. 5 defeat by the Green Bay Packers, participated in the closed practice, McVay said, and the 15th-year pro is expected to start against a Seahawks team coming off a victory over the Washington Commanders.

“Matthew should be ready to go,” McVay said, adding, “We expect him to be able to start and play and do his thing and lead the way this week.”

Stafford, 35, was injured on Oct. 29 during a rout by the Dallas Cowboys. Brett Rypien started Stafford’s place against the Packers on Nov. 5, but he was ineffective during the 20-3 loss.

The Rams then released Rypien and signed Wentz, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL draft. In five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and one each with the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders, Wentz passed for 151 touchdowns, with 66 interceptions.

Read more: Jared Goff got closure from Sean McVay, and it helped make him a Detroit Lions hero

The Commanders released Wentz last February.

“We’re excited about getting Matthew back, but I think to have somebody that’s played as well as he’s played, has had as many experiences as he’s had, to be out there and available is kind of rare,” McVay said of Wentz, who will turn 31 next month.

The Seahawks signed Rypien to their practice squad.

Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson helped prepare Wentz, who “got a bunch of reps” during Monday’s workout, McVay said.

“I think he was just excited to be able to get into a building and be around a guy like Matthew,” McVay said. “They both have tremendous respect for each other.”

Offensive lineman Rob Havenstein and linebacker Ernest Jones, who sat out against the Packers because of calf and knee injuries, respectively, will be ready to play against the Seahawks, McVay said.

The Rams also designated nose tackle Bobby Brown to return to practice from injured reserve.

Read more: Sean McVay believes Matthew Stafford will be back in action after Rams' off week

Running back Kyren Williams is expected to return for a Nov. 26 game against the Arizona Cardinals, McVay said.

The Rams went into their break having lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cowboys and Packers. But McVay cited reason for optimism, especially if the Rams return to “seizing and maximizing” game-turning moments in their remaining games.

The Rams finish the season against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, the Commanders, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. .

“Our guys can draw a lot of confidence from, ‘Hey, this is what it's looked like when it’s been right,’” McVay said. “Let’s keep taking steps forward. Let’s not let the emotion of some of the previous weeks affect our ability to optimistically and realistically move forward in a manner that’s reflective of keep improving and keep understanding what this group can be capable of.

“And don’t let anybody else other than ourselves write that story.'"

Get the best, most interesting and strangest stories of the day from the L.A. sports scene and beyond from our newsletter The Sports Report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.