The Los Angeles Rams coaching staff, organization and fan base had a tremendous turnaround from Week 14 to Week 15. After the team announced the firing of Jeff Fisher, they gave interim head coach John Fassel and quarterback Jared Goff three days to prepare for the Seattle Seahawks.
Both Fassel and Goff would experience their first game at CenturyLink Field, against the Seahawks and the 12th man. The environment was hostile, while the Seahawks’ defense presented a greater challenge. The Rams would go on to loss the contest by a score of 24-3, but not before the defense was able to made their presence felt.
Goff and the offense would have a tremendous first drive, getting into the Seahawks’ red zone. After converting their first fourth down attempt, Fassel and the offense would elect to go for it once again. On fourth and one, they handed the ball to Todd Gurley, who was stuffed just before the first down marker.
From there on out, the offense wouldn’t be able to muster much, as the Seahawks slowly increased their lead on the Rams. However, the offense took a bigger hit when Goff was hit hard during the second half. After a slow recovery to his feet, he would be promptly taken out of the game, as requested by the officials.
Fassel provided clarity regarding the scenario, stating the referees took him out to evaluate him on the sideline, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com:
“A medical timeout was initiated last night from upstairs by the NFL. They got him out of the game,” Fassel said. “He was assessed and he’s currently in the concussion protocol.”
Goff initially stated he was fine and did not want to be taken out of the game, but the officials forced his hand. The referees have done a great job of catching individuals who appeared shaken up after a big hit, in order to properly evaluate the concussion protocol.
Case Keenum, who saw his first action since being benched in favor of Goff, would replace the No. 1 overall pick. Goff finished the contest by completing 13 of 25 passes, for 135 passing yards. He failed to record a touchdown, but also didn’t have any turnovers after being hit many times.
Goff was sacked four times on Thursday, and has now been sacked a total of 14 times his last four games. Aside from a strong first half against the New Orleans Saints, the rookie has been unable to get his footing in his newfound role as the starting quarterback.
Fassel stated that the Rams will treat the schedule outlook as normal, with Goff being reevaluated sometime this week:
“When we come back on Monday, we’re going to treat it like our normal week Tuesday,” Fassel said. “So he’ll get three more days to get treated and become assessed. And we’ll probably make a decision from there, where he’s at, how much he’ll be able to do in practice. And by then, we’ll probably have a better idea how close he’ll be to playing in the game.”
The Rams’ Thursday night contest now gives them 10 days in between games, which will surely allow Goff and the roster to rest a bit.
The final two regular season games are slated at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, giving the borderline players an audition and chance to make an impact and impression on the organization moving forward.