Rams name Jared Goff backup QB vs. Seahawks

THOUSAND OAKS, Ca. -- Rams coach Jeff Fisher made official what coaches told rookie Jared Goff earlier in the week: That the No. 1 overall pick had been promoted to the No. 2 quarterback for Sunday's game against Seattle.

Goff was inactive behind Keenum and Sean Mannion for Monday's season-opening 28-0 loss at the 49ers. Mannion will be the No. 3 quarterback on Sunday.

"They've done a good job of throwing me in there," Goff said about practice this week, where he got some reps with the first-team offense. "I'm preparing the same. Preparing as if I am going to play."

The move was not surprising. Fisher said last week that he could "flip" Goff and Mannion on the depth chart and move Goff to the backup role for the home opener. Fisher said that he kept Goff inactive Week 1 because he wanted to remove all pressure from him and to let him get a perspective of the game from the sideline with no expectations.

Fisher did not rule out rotating Goff and Mannion from backup to inactive, but demoting the first-overall pick at this point would seem unlikely. If he's ready enough to be the backup against Seattle, which boasts one of the NFL's top defenses, why would he not be ready to maintain that role -- at the very least?

Which leads to the dynamic now of how short of a leash will Keenum be on. For weeks we have heard that Goff is not up to speed. However, Keenum completed 17 of 35 passes for 130 yards with two interceptions and a passer rating of 34.2 against the 49ers. Anything close to that performance could trigger a move to Goff.

It is only a matter of time for Keenum and he is well aware that he is a bridge to Goff. If Keenum plays well, he keeps his job. The question with Friday's announcement regarding Goff's status is will Keenum be anxious knowing that a mistake or two in front of an expected 90,000 in the first regular season game in Los Angeles in 22 years could lead to his removal?

The first real player fans of this new version of the Rams were exposed to was Goff, when he was drafted in late April and immediately deemed the future quarterback for the team. Even though running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald are the young stars of the team, much of the hoopla has surrounded Goff.

Goff didn't look ready through the preseason, but if Keenum struggles again, the Rams will turn to the future, change expectations and build for tomorrow instead of recycle the same sub-.500 fortunes that they've mustered under Fisher and his slew of unproven veteran quarterbacks.

The other dynamic involves Mannion, who actually looked decent at times in the preseason and is a player that coaches and personnel staffers said has grown. Clearly, they don't want to build around him since they drafted Goff, but he might be the best option in the short term if it comes down to winning games.

Even so, if there is a change at quarterback, it would have to be to Goff. Otherwise, there would be a million more questions than answers as to why Goff isn't getting a shot, especially with other rookies like Dak Prescott (Cowboys) and Carson Wentz (Eagles) starting.

Mannion said he's tried not to look at his situation as being the odd man out, knowing the dynamics that have surrounded him since the team made the trade with Tennessee to move up to get Goff.

"I've tried to not think about things that way," said Mannion, who wasn't happy that he'd been demoted but kept a professional demeanor. "All along I've tried to take things day to day and play my best football. I thought I put a lot of good stuff out there in OTAs, training camp and in the preseason. I just have to keep doing that and see what happens."

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