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Rams’ Matthew Stafford won’t play against Chiefs but not because of concussion

After being evaluated for two concussions in three weeks, as well as a neck issue suffered against New Orleans, Matthew Stafford will miss the game against Kansas City.

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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) jogs on the field before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

The Rams’ Matthew Stafford (9) jogs on the field before a game against Arizona. The quarterback missed the game because he was in concussion protocol. (Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol but has been ruled out for their road game against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a neck issue suffered against the New Orleans Saints, coach Sean McVay explained Wednesday.

McVay said Stafford, although in protocol, has yet to be diagnosed with a concussion. He was examined during the Saints game after saying he felt numbness in his legs.

Bryce Perkins or John Wolford will start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium for a Rams team that is 3-7 and has lost four games in a row.

Stafford’s status for the game against the Chiefs and beyond was in doubt since last Sunday, when he was evaluated for a concussion and then left the game after being sacked in the third quarter of a 27-20 defeat in New Orleans.

It was the second time in three weeks that Stafford was evaluated for a concussion during or after a game.

On Monday, McVay said Stafford was still being evaluated for a concussion. When asked if the Rams would consider putting Stafford on injured reserve or shutting him down for the season if he were diagnosed with a concussion, McVay said, “I’m not going to be reckless.”

Last season, Stafford passed for 41 touchdowns and led the Rams to the Super Bowl title. In March, he signed a four-year extension that includes $120 million in guarantees. This season, he has passed for 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions.

With Stafford sidelined after suffering a concussion Nov. 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wolford started against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13. Wolford was inactive against the Saints because of a neck injury.

Perkins played against the Cardinals and replaced Stafford in the second half against the Saints.

The Rams signed quarterback Case Cookus to the practice squad Wednesday. Cookus played at Thousand Oaks High and at Northern Arizona. In 2020, he signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent but was released during training camp.

In 2021, he was signed and waived by the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders. He played most recently in the USFL.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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