Rams move Bryce Perkins off practice squad to backup after Goff fractures finger

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Bryce Perkins

Virginia’s Bryce Perkins eyes for his pass during the ACC Football Championship Game (Photo by Albert Dickson, the ACC).

Former Virginia record-breaking quarterback Bryce Perkins has been moved up to the Los Angeles Rams backup quarterback position heading into this week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams (9-6) need to win to make the NFL playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.

Starting quarterback Jared Goff fractured his right thumb on Sunday when his throwing hand hit the helmet of Seattle defensive lineman Benson Mayowa in the Rams’ 20-9 loss to the Seahawks. Goff popped his dislocated thumb back into its socket and completed the game, even though X-Rays after the contest showed he had suffered a fracture.

Goff underwent surgery on Monday and could be back for the playoffs if the Rams make the postseason.

Meanwhile, Coach Sean McVay will depend on two quarterbacks who have never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game. Goff’s backup, John Wolford (formerly of Wake Forest), is expected to get the start, and former Cavalier Perkins, who has been on the club’s practice squad, is set to become Wolfford’s backup.

Los Angeles is also attempting to sign veteran Blake Bortles from Denver’s practice squad. Bortles played for the Rams in 2019.

“Bryce Perkins will be ready to go,” McVay said in terms of who will back up Wolford. “I’m not sure where we are in the process, but we’ll try to get Blake Bortles on the roster as well.”

Perkins impressed McVay back in training camp when the Rams had several players battling for the backup spot to Goff. Certainly, Perkins’ mobility was one of the key aspects in the Rams keeping him, while releasing two other potential backups.

“Bryce has done a nice job,” McVay said near the end of camp. “He’s earned the right to be able to get a couple more reps and for us to evaluate him. Any time you can create off-schedule and be able to do some things that aren’t within the design of the play is a very good quality you like from quarterbacks.”

Perkins carved out a reputation for just that during his two-year starting career at Virginia where he became the Cavaliers’ all-time total offense record hold in only those two seasons. He rushed 439 times for 1,692 yards and 20 touchdowns, whole passing for 47 touchdowns, often using his mobility to keep plays alive.

“For Bryce, when you look at him, he’s always had a determination to be the best quarterback and fight the ‘athlete moniker,’” said former NFL quarterback Dan Naucci, who has worked with Perkins since high school days back in Arizona. “He’s a quarterback who happens to be a great athlete. He proved what a great quarterback he is at Virginia, especially last year. He looks to throw more before he runs and that’s attractive to the NFL guys.”

Wolford, who has never taken a regular season snap in the NFL, is definitely ready to go.

“John does a great job preparing himself all year,” McVay said. “You watch the way he’s worked at it. I know there’s confidence from coaches and his teammates, and guys will need to rally around him but were excited about the opportunity John will have to lead the offense this week.”

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