THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Jared Goff is one step closer to the field for the Los Angeles Rams.
The No. 1 overall draft pick will be the Rams’ backup quarterback Sunday, putting him in uniform for the first time in his rookie season.
Coach Jeff Fisher made the announcement Friday after Los Angeles’ final practice for its home opener against Seattle.
“He’s ready to play,” Fisher said. “He got some reps throughout the week. (It’s) good for him. It’s exciting for him, just knowing that he’s a snap away from going into the game. He was here until the wee hours (Thursday) night preparing, as he should.”
Goff was the inactive third-stringer for the Rams’ 28-0 loss at San Francisco in their season opener Monday. Sean Mannion served as the backup to Case Keenum, who went 17 for 35 for 130 yards with two interceptions.
Keenum is still the starter, but Fisher said the team is confident Goff would be ready to play. Fisher hasn’t decided whether he’ll switch the backup job between Goff and Mannion again next week, saying he’ll wait to see how the weekend goes.
Goff was told about the decision earlier in the week.
“I’ve just been preparing the same way I’ve been preparing,” Goff said.
While Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Dallas’ Dak Prescott started in last week’s openers as rookies, Goff watched the opener in street clothes. He hasn’t stopped studying and learning with the Rams, who obviously expect the former California star to be their starter in the near future.
Goff went 22 for 49 with two touchdown passes and two interceptions in the preseason with the Rams, who had the NFL’s worst offense last season. After the preseason finale, Fisher said Goff wasn’t ready to be the backup to Keenum, who easily kept the starting job he won late last season from Nick Foles.
Goff has practiced with the first-team offense more frequently this week, something he also did during training camp.
“I don’t feel like I need too many (practice opportunities) to go in there and play right now,” Goff said. “I’d like to have as many as possible, but whatever they do is their decision. … It’s faster, obviously, when the preseason goes to regular season. It’s still football, though. Just try to keep it simple.”
While Goff has been calm and supportive of Keenum throughout his first NFL quarterback derby, he hasn’t been a backup for six years, since early in his sophomore year of high school in Marin County.
“I just prepare the same way every week,” Goff said. “It can happen any time. Obviously going to support Case, but anything can happen. I’ll be ready when my number is called.”
If Keenum doesn’t improve from Week 1, that number could be called quickly. He blamed himself afterward for the loss to the 49ers, saying he overthought the game.
“As an offense, we need to trust him,” offensive coordinator Rob Boras said. “We need to trust what we see, not overthink it. Trust our coaching. Trust our vision. Trust our instincts and play.”
The only team that managed fewer yards than the Rams’ 185 during the opening week was Buffalo, which fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday after a second offensive clunker against the New York Jets on Thursday night.
Boras probably doesn’t need to be worried about his job security, however. He only took over the Rams’ offense last December with four games left in the 2015 season — and one of those games was a rainy road victory over the Seahawks.
“Didn’t see it coming,” Boras said of the Rams’ struggles at San Francisco. “I think, across the board, coaches (and) players would say that we thought we had a great week of preparation and then obviously just didn’t live up to our standard.”