Rams not showing Matthew Stafford's hand: Did not practice again, could play

Rams quarterback Brett Rypien takes a snap during practice.
Rams quarterback Brett Rypien received all the first-team reps this week because Matthew Stafford is nursing a thumb injury on his throwing hand. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is nursing a right thumb sprain, will be listed as questionable Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, coach Sean McVay said Friday.

“We’ll take it all the way up until game time,” McVay said before practice.

Stafford has not practiced this week, and McVay declined to specify whether the 15th-year pro can grip a football.

“Making good progress,” McVay said.

Despite McVay’s comments, Brett Rypien appears on track to start, with Dresser Winn as the backup.

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Linebacker Ernest Jones will be out because of a knee injury and right tackle Rob Havenstein will be questionable because of a calf injury. Joe Noteboom is expected to start in his place for the second game in a row.

Stafford was injured during last week’s 43-20 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. After playing the Packers, the Rams have an off week before resuming their schedule Nov. 19 against the Seattle Seahawks at home.

“If there’s anything that would leave him susceptible to injury or further damaging this, then that’s a non-negotiable,” McVay said of playing Stafford against the Packers. “And that’s where you defer to the doctors.”

Has the medical team given McVay any indication that Stafford could reaggravate the injury?

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“If you can’t grip a football, I mean what are we talking about?” McVay said. “Especially when it’s on the throwing hand of a guy — that’s his special trait. ... But we’ll take it a day at a time. ... You’ve got to be able to have a plan for both he and Brett.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur told Rams beat reporters the Packers would prepare as if they would face Stafford, who did not play in a loss at Green Bay last season because of a season-ending spinal injury.

Rypien started three games during three seasons as backup for the Denver Broncos. He replaced Stafford against the Cowboys and completed five of 10 passes for 42 yards.

The Rams are 3-5 and have lost two games in a row. The Packers (2-5) have lost four in a row.

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Last season, injuries suffered by Stafford, receiver Cooper Kupp and star defensive lineman Aaron Donald were among those that decimated the Rams during their horrible 5-12 season.

Does this feel like the dominoes are again starting to fall?

“No,” McVay said.

“It’s one of those deals that, man, hey, you’re either going into a storm, you’re either in one or you’re getting ready to go back in one,” he said. “The worst thing you can do is start to say, ‘Oh, man,’ [and] you start feeling sorry for yourself. ‘Man, we’ve been here before.’

“We’re not going to do that. I don’t believe we have that in our locker room.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.