Carson Wentz Starting For Rams & Sam Darnold Starting For 49ers In Week 18 Matchup
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams signed former No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz to be the backup quarterback to Matthew Stafford after an injury to the team’s starter forced Brett Rypien into a start against the Green Bay Packers. Wentz has not seen any game action for the Rams outside of garbage time situations, but the Week 18 battle against the San Francisco 49ers presents a perfect opportunity.

The Rams clinched their place in the postseason with a win over the New York Giants and a Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17. They will be either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the NFC regardless of their result against the 49ers, meaning starters could be rested.

And it appears as though the Rams are going to go that route with Stafford, resting him in Week 18 and giving the start to Wentz, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network:

Wentz’s last start was on Jan. 1, 2023 for the Washington Commanders against the Cleveland Browns. He went 16-for-28 with no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 24-10 loss. It was the end of another disappointing season for Wentz, who is now on his fourth team in four seasons.

He’ll face off against another embattled quarterback in his own right with Sam Darnold getting the start for the 49ers. Despite securing the first-round bye, the 49ers are sitting starting quartervack Brock Purdy for the final regular season game. Additionally, Christian McCaffrey has also been ruled out due to an injury.

With Wentz and Darnold at the helm, this won’t look like the typical Rams vs. 49ers matchup. But there remains plenty of intrigue with how Wentz performs, as he has a 2024 season contract to fight for.

Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner can break rookie sack record

Something else to watch for as the Rams take on the 49ers is if Kobie Turner can get to Darnold. Turner has 9.0 sacks on the season, which ties him with Rams superstar Aaron Donald for the most by a rookie defensive tackle since 2012. Even a 0.5-sack performance would etch Turner into NFL history. And it means even more to break the record while sharing a field with the previous record holder in Donald.