With Goff hurt, former Wake QB Wolford to start for Rams

The former four-year starter with the Demon Deacons made his way to the NFL after having success in the AAF

Rams quarterback John Wolford will make his NFL debut Sunday in a must-win game for Los Angeles. (Rick Scuteri / AP Photo)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff underwent surgery Monday on the thumb on his throwing hand, and former Wake Forest signal-caller John Wolford will start Sunday against Arizona with a playoff berth on the line, the team announced Monday night.

Wolford, who starred in his brief time in the Alliance of American Football after leaving Wake Forest in 2017, has never taken an NFL snap. According to Schefter, when Wolford starts he will do something that hasn’t happened since 2013.

Goff injured his thumb in the Rams’ 20-9 loss at Seattle last Sunday, and leading rusher Darrell Henderson Jr. was also hurt. Los Angeles (9-6) already was without its second-leading rusher, rookie Cam Akers, who sprained his ankle a week earlier.

But the injuries don’t cover the depth and breadth of everything going wrong with coach Sean McVay’s offense, which couldn’t score a touchdown despite gaining 334 yards against the Seahawks.

The Rams are seventh in the NFL with just under 380 yards per game, yet they’re 17th in the league with only 23.6 points per game.

Wolford threw for nearly 8,800 yards and 59 touchdowns during four seasons with the Demon Deacons, highlighted by his 2017 senior campaign when he completed 63.9% of his passes for 3,192 yards and 29 touchdowns with just six interceptions.

The 6-foot-1 Wolford also rushed for 1,120 yards and 19 touchdowns in his collegiate career.

In the AAF, Wolford threw for 1,617 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games with the Arizona Hotshots. He went undrafted in 2018 and signed with the New York Jets, but he was cut. After the AAF ceased operations, Wolford joined the Rams practice squad and later signed a contract on Dec. 31, 2019.