Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with an elbow injury, and it sounds like a cause for concern because coach Sean McVay called the injury “abnormal” for a quarterback.
This is not the first time Stafford has dealt with an elbow injury. He received an injection in his right elbow during the offseason, and he did not throw during spring workouts, as the team is being cautious with this throwing arm. McVay compared Stafford’s injury to what baseball pitchers deal with.
On Thursday, he did not participate in individual and 7-on-7 drills during camp. McVay said he does not expect the quarterback to take part in drills for the remainder of camp. McVay added that the training staff and star quarterback tried taking different steps during the offseason to alleviate the pain.
McVay said their goal was to have a “modified approach and a progressive build.”
“Could he do it? Yes … Is that the best thing? We didn’t think so. And I think I’ve got a responsibility to try to make decisions that are in the best alignment using medical experts and talking with Matthew. And so all of those things combined led to where we’re at right now. And it is an ever-evolving process, but we are really taking over these next couple weeks, seeing how they go.”
McVay tried to assure that Stafford’s pain was not a setback but “consistent with what’s been going on.”
“[You] want to try to have him operate in as little pain as possible … I think anytime that you’ve played as long and are as tough as he is, I don’t know if you’re ever truly pain-free, but the goal would be for Sept. 8 and really looking towards 17 games then hopefully some games after that if we earn that opportunity.”
“That’s kind of the perspective and the big-picture approach that we want to be able to take. I don’t know that I would feel as comfortable taking that approach if it wasn’t for the experience that he’s accumulated and knowing how intentional he is about staying up to speed with his mental and his physical work that he can do in the absence of some of the stuff in the team settings.”
Stafford is expected to be ready to play in Week 1 of the NFL season, but the Rams might be cautious with him, as they fully expect to make another Super Bowl run this season.
Matthew Stafford throws an absolute dart to Cooper Kupp! pic.twitter.com/xIqHVGfGXR
— LA Rams Nation (@RamsNationCP) August 1, 2022
Although he skipped the drills, McVay said Stafford “looked really good” during practice on Thursday.
“Even in routes on air, in the types of throws where you’re really seeing all parts of the field being activated, that’s a really good thing,” McVay said. “And so I’ve definitely seen improvement. He was making those types of throws before, but being able to just do it in a smart fashion is kind of what we’re really hunting out.”
If Stafford misses a few games this season, John Wolford is second on the depth chart. The defending champion Rams open up Week 1 at SoFi Stadium against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.