Rams QB Stafford back in concussion protocol, out Sunday

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Quarterback Matthew Stafford will miss his second game in three weeks for the Los Angeles Rams after going back into the NFL's concussion protocol.

Sean McVay confirmed Stafford will sit out when the Rams (3-7) visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but the coach said Wednesday that his Super Bowl-winning quarterback doesn't necessarily have a concussion.

Stafford left the Rams' loss at New Orleans early last Sunday when he felt numbness in his legs following a hit. Stafford has been examined by doctors who haven't yet determined whether he incurred a concussion, but Stafford is still back in the protocol because of the way he exited the game, McVay said.

“We're checking all those boxes and going through all that,” McVay said. “There's a lot of layers to it, but you certainly want to make sure you're doing everything in your power to (address) exactly what went into that feeling, and letting the experts be able to give their opinion, look at the MRI and those scans, and be able to give the right information so that we can move forward accordingly with him.”

Stafford missed the Rams' loss to Arizona two weeks ago after going into the protocol the first time. The Rams still haven't confirmed whether Stafford incurred a concussion in that instance, either.

McVay said Stafford and the Rams haven't decided whether the quarterback could go on injured reserve or even be shut down for the season. Los Angeles has only six games remaining after Sunday and a daunting road to playoff contention.

The Rams also are uncertain who will play quarterback when they face the Chiefs on Sunday.

Third-stringer Bryce Perkins will get most of the snaps in practice because backup John Wolford has a lingering neck injury that forced him to miss last week's game at New Orleans.

Stafford is one of the NFL's most durable quarterbacks over the past 12 years. He had missed only eight games in that stretch — all in the 2019 season with Detroit because of a back injury — before his absence against the Cardinals.

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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press