John Wolford went from finance to Jets to Tremendous Bowl backup


John Wolford’s first NFL snap got here within the 2018 preseason with the Jets. Now he’s preparing for Tremendous Bowl LVI.

It’s been fairly the soccer journey for Wolford. He signed with the Jets three days after he accepted a job at North Carolina-based non-public fairness agency Teall Capital in the summertime of 2018 and performed in a single preseason sport for Gang Inexperienced. Wolford performed 39 minutes for New York in opposition to the Eagles however was launched the next day on Sept. 4 after going 8-20 for 89 yards with one interception.

“I do know it was temporary, however I’ll look again and cherish that second,” Wolford instructed ESPN in 2018. “Not lots of people get to exit and play for the New York Jets. I’m working my ass off to get one other shot to play for them, however that’s the way in which it goes. I’ll do not forget that time for the remainder of my life.”

Wolford obtained one other alternative, simply not within the NFL. He was taken within the second spherical of the inaugural Alliance of American Soccer draft in 2019 by the Arizona Hotshots. He accomplished 63.1 p.c of his passes for 1,617 yards, 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for them. The league folded after eight video games, however Wolford signed with the Rams quickly after.

He obtained a greater shot in Los Angeles as Jared Goff’s backup. Wolford began the ultimate sport of the Rams’ 2020 season after Goff suffered a hand damage, helped clinched a playoff berth and have become the primary quarterback in NFL historical past to go for greater than 200 yards and rush for greater than 50 yards in his debut. Wolford additionally began the Rams’ first playoff sport however was compelled to depart with a neck damage. Although he went to the hospital, Wolford made a full restoration.

Wolford saved his job this season after the Rams traded Goff for Matthew Stafford. He earned the reward of his coaches, teammates and the entrance workplace and returned in 2021 as Stafford’s main backup.

“Our employees and gamers had been assured in him.” Rams’ normal supervisor Les Snead instructed the Florida Occasions-Union this previous week. “Any time a quarterback proves he can win an enormous sport, he earns the belief of the gamers. A backup moving into and successful a sport to get you within the playoffs? That’s all you’ll be able to ask for.”

Chances are high Wolford gained’t see any motion in Tremendous Bowl LVI. He solely touched the ball 24 occasions this season – 5 of which had been passing makes an attempt – and would solely enter the sport if Stafford suffered a severe damage. However Wolford believes he’s ready for the second if it occurs.

“If my quantity is named, then I’m already within the sport mentally as a result of it’s exhausting to enter a sport chilly and play these high-speed reps,” Wolford instructed the Occasions-Union. “You must be prepared at a second’s discover and put together such as you’re the starter.”


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