Matthew Stafford doesn't practice with injured thumb as Rams sign a quarterback

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford watches from the bench with a bandage on his throwing hand.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford watches from the bench in Dallas with a bandage on his throwing hand to protect his injured thumb. (Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is nursing a right thumb sprain, did not practice Wednesday, but coach Sean McVay would not rule him out for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

“You give him up until right before the game,” McVay said before practice.

Brett Rypien will start if Stafford is unable to play.

The Rams signed quarterback Dresser Winn to the practice squad Wednesday. Winn was with the Rams through offseason workouts and training camp.

McVay said the Rams signed Winn because of his familiarity with the Rams' system. The Rams had explored signing former backup John Wolford off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad, but the Buccaneers elevated Wolford to the active roster.

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The Rams did not explore trading for a quarterback, McVay said.

Last Sunday, Rypien replaced Stafford after he was injured during a 43-20 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. Rypien completed five of 10 passes for 42 yards.

“He’s one of those guys that you can see he’s a pro’s pro,” McVay said. “He’s always preparing himself as if he understands that there’s one situation, or he’s one snap away, from having to go into the game.”

Stafford, 35, has uncommon arm talent and experience gained from 14-plus seasons in the NFL.

Rypien, a fourth-year pro, has played in only nine games, eight with the Denver Broncos.

If Rypien starts against the Packers, how will that affect McVay’s play calling?

“You know that Matthew is a unique player that can do so many special things — it’s why he’s got the resumé throughout the course of his career, it’s why he is who is,” McVay said. “And so, to say that you can operate exactly the same way, I think that would be a little silly, but we do have confidence in Brett to be able to operate our offense.”

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The Rams are 3-5 and have lost two games in a row going into their final game before an off week.

The NFL trade deadline Tuesday came and went with the Rams making no moves. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers acquired edge rusher Chase Young, the Seattle Seahawks acquired defensive lineman Leonard Williams and the Arizona Cardinals traded quarterback Josh Dobbs.

How do those moves affect the Rams going forward?

“Not in the least bit,” McVay said, adding, “The nature of some of the situations with us in general … limited in terms of, all right, going out and actually bringing people in.

“I feel good about this. I feel good about a lot of the things that we’re capable of doing. Obviously, we’re not pleased with where we’re at through eight games but I can see through, and I see a lot of light. ... That’s where you feel really excited about this opportunity this week, get the bye and then you come back for the last eight games and see what we can do with it where there’s a lot of football left to be played.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.