Baker Mayfield received the Los Angeles Rams playbook Tuesday night while flying to the team that claimed him off waivers when the Carolina Panthers released him earlier this week.
With only a day and a half to discover head coach Sean McVay’s offense, Mayfield was active and at the Rams’ game Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It was a question if Mayfield would be active, let alone move to downtown Los Angeles despite his quarterback woes before the short week. Matthew Stafford’s season is likely over as he is currently on injured reserve while his backup, John Wolford, is dealing with a neck injury.
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Mayfield was active, but Wolford ran onto the field at SoFi Stadium for the Rams’ first drive of the game.
However, Mayfield stepped in after Los Angeles went three-and-out on their first drive and took the offensive reins.
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Before the game, Mayfield was asked by Amazon’s Kirk Herbstreit if he had even made shots with his wide receivers. He said that he had about 20 pitches.
But on his first play of the game, it was a game action pass that completed Van Jefferson for 21 yards to start. The Rams would eventually settle for a 55-yard field goal kicked by Matt Gay for their first points of the game.
It’s been a whirlwind season for Mayfield, who was traded before the season from the Cleveland Browns to the Panthers. The Browns instead acquired Deshaun Watson and signed him to a multi-year contract, which all but ended Mayfield’s place as a franchise quarterback in Cleveland after the team selected him first overall in the NFL Draft. of 2018.
Mayfield went to Carolina, where the quarterback position was open, fighting for the starting job with Sam Darnold, the man drafted two spots after him by the New York Jets and PJ Walker. Mayfield won the training camp job, but the regular season results were not positive.
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Mayfield won just one of his five starts to start the 2022-23 campaign and was benched just days after the Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule. Interim head coach Steve Wilks went with Walker, then Darnold, then back to Mayfield in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Oklahoma product was 21 of 33 for 196 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns, leading to a 13-3 loss.
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Carolina moved on and the Rams, who were struggling with a 3-10 record after winning the Super Bowl last season, needed a quarterback. Mayfield signed the dotted line, got the CliffsNotes version of the playbook, and is the baptism of fire on “Thursday Night Football.”