Rams News: Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald & Kyren Williams Among Players Ruled Out Against 49ers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams were able to clinch a postseason spot in Week 17 after defeating the New York Giants and getting some help from the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks. No matter what happens in Week 18 against the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams will either be the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the NFC and will travel to one of Detroit, Dallas or Philadelphia for Wild Card Weekend.

This meant that the Rams were likely to rest some of their star players like Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, Kyren Williams and others. This way, L.A. can steal a bye week for their stars and be refreshed and ready to go for a marquee matchup in the first week of the postseason.

Rams head coach Sean McVay spoke on Wednesday and confirmed that Kupp, Donald, Williams and Stafford are among a host of players that will not take the field against the 49ers on Sunday.

“Joe Noteboom and Tyler Higbee will be out for this game due to injuries,” McVay said. “We’ll hold Matthew (Stafford), Kyren (Williams) and Cooper (Kupp) on offense, and then on defense we’ll hold Aaron (Donald) and Ernest Jones.”

The Rams are sitting virtually all of their star players that aren’t rookies. And if not for record chases by rookies Puka Nacua and Kobie Turner, it’s possible they would be joining Stafford, Kupp, Williams, Donald, Jones, Noteboom and Higbee on the bench.

Nacua is four catches and 29 yards away from becoming the NFL’s all-time record holder for both receptions and receiving yards in a rookie season. Meanwhile, Turner is 0.5 sacks away from breaking Donald’s NFL record for the most sacks by a rookie defensive tackle. It will be interesting to see if both are benched right after breaking those records or how much of the game they’ll be given to make that happen.

Carson Wentz getting start for Rams vs. 49ers

Stafford being rested for the regular season finale means the first start of Carson Wentz’s tenure with the Rams. Wentz was signed midway through the season to be Stafford’s backup and a more serviceable starter than Brett Rypien if needed.

Now, he gets the chance to lead a team for the first time since Jan. 1, 2023 when he threw three interceptions in a losing effort for the Washington Commanders. He’ll have Nacua as his main weapon — at least for a portion of the game — alongside Ronnie Rivers and Demarcus Robinson.