One of the top storylines around the Rams in recent weeks has been the lingering issue affecting quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s throwing elbow. Just as the team expressed confidence that it won’t affect his availability for the start of the regular season, Stafford himself has downplayed its significance.
“I’m just going through something that is irritating, at the moment, but I’m working through it,” the 34-year-old said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (subscription required). “We’ve got a great plan. I’m feeling stronger every time I come out and throw… I’m right on track, feeling good.”
Stafford sat out for OTAs, but resumed throwing at the beginning of training camp. Shortly thereafter, though, his workload was scaled down again, as the team looks to keep him on a ‘pitch count.’ Head coach Sean McVay repeated over the weekend that Stafford (who participated in team drills on Saturday) remains “very much on track with what we had hoped” regarding his scheduled recovery.
Neither McVay nor Stafford have stated whether of not they anticipate the unnamed issue will remain a chronic problem into the regular season. The latter described it as “just a little soreness, [which] we’re working through.” Rodrigue posits that the team is using an abundance of caution while managing the stress on Stafford, who played a 21-game schedule last year (combining regular and postseason games) and has a well-documented history of playing through injury.
Given the financial investment the defending champions have made in him, waiting until closer to the beginning of the regular season to increase Stafford’s workload again could prove to be wise. In any event, the Pro Bowler’s remarks on the danger of setting himself back through overextension should be cause for optimism for all involved.
“It’s not one of those things that, the more I throw, the worse it’s gonna get. It’s kind of just a balancing act at this point.”