INGLEWOOD (News4usonline) – Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins gave himself a leg up on the competition to make the team’s 53-man roster with an impressive performance in limited action in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
Perkins, a second-year quarterback from Virginia, is third on the Rams’ depth chart behind starter Matthew Stafford and No. 2 John Wolford.
With the Rams engaging in their first football game in front of fans in over two years, Perkins probably made some new fans, especially after he stiff-armed one Chargers defender and leapfrogged another to complete the highlight-reel play.
Perkins finished the game completing 7 of 10 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. He also added 23 yards and that razzle-dazzle play to keep the SoFi Stadium crowd buzzing with excitement. Rams coach Sean McVay was encouraged by what he saw from Perkins.
“I thought he did a nice job,” McVay said. “I was real pleased with him. You could see he had a couple of great off-schedule plays tonight. That third-down and nine, that’s definitely on SportsCenter tonight. It was exciting to be able to see. I thought the overall operation, getting in and out of the huddle, communicating some of the play call, sending the motions, mixing up your cadence. It’s definitely a good positive night for (QB) Bryce (Perkins). The standards he has, I think he’s always going to want to be perfect snap in and snap out positive to take away from he and (QB Delvin Hodges) ‘Duck’.”
This has been a different summer and training camp for Perkins and the Rams. After breaking all sorts of records for the Cavaliers during an outstanding collegiate career, the 6-foot-3 Perkins was shown no love by any NFL ballclub, getting passed over in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Rams, however, gave the dual-threat signal-caller a break and signed Perkins to a free agent contract. Perkins spent just about all of his time during his rookie season on the practice squad. And learning.
With a year of work under his belt, Perkins sounded pretty excited about being back out on the field playing in a live football game.
“It felt really good out there,” Perkins told reporters following the Rams’ 13-6 defeat to the Chargers. “I felt comfortable, confident. It definitely feels like coming up on this game that I haven’t played football, like live football in a while.
“I really wanted to come out here and really transition this last year, year and a half of practice and have it correlate,” Perkins continued. “I tried to stay disciplined with my feet and my eyes and make plays when they were there. And then just be decisive and everything like that. I think it went pretty well.”
What went well for Perkins was a 9-play, 48-yard drive that he led the Rams to the team’s only score in the second quarter. Perkins capped the drive with a short scoring toss to Trishton Jackson.
Operating out of shotgun formation, Perkins looked off a couple of Chargers defenders to his right before firing a four-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Jackson in the back of the endzone. As good as he looked on the touchdown throw, Perkins saved the best for last.
Again, opening out of the shotgun formation in the fourth quarter, Perkins initially tried to move up in the pocket before scooting to the right and trying to make a dash to the sidelines on third down.
Running outside the box, Perkins stiff-armed Chargers linebacker Damon Lloyd and then jumped over Kemon Hall like he was competing in the hurdles. Oh yeah, Perkins’ extraordinary scramble was good enough for a first down.
“I mean, I was just trying to keep the chains moving,” Perkins said. “Had a third-down opportunity the previous drive that I could have just stuck the ball out, missed it, came up short by one yard. So being smart, trying to just keep the chains moving. And plays like those are just reactionary. You never really think that you’re going to do it coming up but it just happened and just try to give my team another set of downs.”
Perkins’ well ad-libbed run and leap had SoFi Stadium humming with excitement. The Rams’ sideline was just as pumped with the electric energy.
“Yeah I definitely felt it,” remarked Perkins. “And usually, I always tell my parents this, growing up in high school and Pop Warner, when they’re closer, they always say they’re yelling at me, ‘Can you hear me? Can you hear me? And I always say ‘No, when I’m on the field usually I can’t hear anything.’ But after that play I heard it. It seemed like I heard everybody, everything, saw everybody. But it was awesome. It was a great energy boost and I’m glad that I could make that play for the team.”
For Perkins to be included on the Rams’ active roster, he’s probably going to have to make quite a few more positive plays as he made against the Chargers. It is likely that he will get another chance to show what he can do in the Rams’ preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Rams will engage the Raiders in multiple joint practices as well. So Perkins will have the opportunity to display his multifaceted game as a quarterback. Opportunity comes with preparedness, Perkins commented.
“I mean, last year I really tried to do my best of just staying prepared with the game plans, being comfortable, not getting complacent and just sitting back and accepting the role,” Perkins said. “I think watching John Wolford, how he prepared as the backup role was great. And leading up to here, I just wanted to come out here and show some of my capabilities. It’s always different when it’s live and people have to tackle and everything like that. But I just take it one play at a time. This is great.”
Featured Image Caption: Aug. 14, 2021. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins (16) scoots upfield against the Los Angeles Chargers in a preseason game played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline
I write about sports, racial and social justice, culture, and everything else in between. Beat writer for the Rams, Chargers, Lakers, and Clippers. Part of the inaugural Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship class. Howard University alum.