September 27, 2022


Matthew Stafford played down the importance of his elbow injury after showing how little it is holding him back in training with it Los Angeles Rams.

Stafford participated extensively in the Rams’ final practice at UC Irvine on Saturday, making deep throws and building chemistry with his teammates in what was likely his most extensive work of training camp.

Afterwards, Stafford said the condition of his right elbow is just an “irritation” and does not pose a threat to his ability to lead the defending Super Bowl champions.

“I’m in a little bit of pain,” Stafford said. “We’re working on it. I felt really good today. I thought it looked really good. I’m just trying to be smart with it and make me feel as good as I can going into Week 1 while still getting as many reps as I can .”

Stafford had elbow soreness while leading the Rams to a championship in his first season with the team and had an unspecified injection in his elbow during the offseason. He did not throw to receivers in practice during the offseason, but participated in drills during camp despite a limited overall schedule.

Still, coach Sean McVay raised eyebrows Thursday when he said Stafford’s injury was “abnormal” for a quarterback, likening it to injuries more commonly seen on baseball fields. Stafford again declined to go into detail about his injury Saturday, but says it’s not something he can’t handle.

“I’m just going through something that’s frustrating right now, but I’m dealing with it,” Stafford said. “We have a great plan. I feel stronger every time I come out here and throw. I felt like I could make any throw I wanted today. I’m just trying to be smart when I get those opportunities make sure I come out here, cut it, solve it like I did today and get out of there.”

McVay pointed out that Stafford made every throw during the Rams’ practice Saturday. The coach isn’t using any of his starting players in the preseason, so Stafford’s first chance to show off his arm in a game won’t come until Los Angeles’ season opener on Sept. 8 against Buffalo at SoFi Stadium.

“The way it looked today, I don’t think you would have known anything was going on,” McVeigh said. “She felt good, so I know I’ll sleep better tonight.”

Stafford. 34, has 49,995 yards as he enters his 14th season this fall, ranking him 12th in NFL history and fourth among active quarterbacks. He agreed to a contract extension through 2026 during the offseason, and there is no public doubt that he will be able to deliver during his commitment to the Rams and perhaps beyond.

“Anytime you put an arm through as much stress as I have over the years, it’s not going to look like (a normal person’s) elbow, I’m sure,” Stafford said. “It’s not one of those things where… the more I fly, the worse it’s going to get. It’s just a balancing act at this point.”

Report from the Associated Press.


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