Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was out at practice on Friday, walking around with his teammates.
He will not play today against the Chiefs, with young QB Bryce Perkins set to make his first start, but Stafford's presence on the practice field was a clear sign of optimism.
Despite the Rams' 3-7 record and despite Stafford landing in the NFL's concussion protocol for the second time this season, there are no current plans to shut down Stafford for the remainder of the season, multiple sources say.
While Stafford is in the league's protocol, he has not been diagnosed with a concussion, sources with knowledge of his situation say. In fact, he was placed in the protocol because he exited game before the team could determine if he had a concussion.
The Rams couldn't rule out a concussion during the game because it could have been his head, neck or back that was causing the symptoms. So, they played it safe by pulling him and putting him in concussion protocol.
Stafford was experiencing leg numbness as a result of what was essentially a bad stinger when his neck was hit last week. But that has since cleared up over the past few days, sources say.
Stafford is considered week-to-week. As it was explained, the Rams placed Stafford in the concussion protocol for the second time in three weeks out of caution because he had symptoms that can sometimes come with that diagnosis.
In his first concussion this season -- revealed on Nov. 9 -- Stafford reported symptoms while working out following a loss to the Buccaneers. This time, Stafford had what can be described as crossover symptoms that could not actually be the result of a concussion, sources say.
Now, Stafford is improving. Even with the team's record not what they want, the hope is that the 34-year-old Stafford can play when he's cleared.