If he hadn’t chosen to devote himself to football, the Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford could have been one of baseball’s best prospects.
Now Stafford — and the defending Super Bowl champions — are trying to solve an elbow problem more closely associated with pitching.
Stafford has tendonitis, a person with knowledge of the situation said Thursday. The person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
The bouquets are trying to deal with Stafford’s lingering elbow pain, raising more questions than answers as they prepare for their September. 8 opening game against the Buffalo Bills – and an attempt to become the first team in nearly two decades to win back-to-back championships.
“It’s a tricky business,” coach Sean McVay said Thursday after practice, adding, “It’s a little abnormal for a quarterback. You know, some of these things are things that pitchers of MLB deal and so it’s something that we kind of learn on the fly.
When asked if a Thursday report that Stafford suffered from tendonitis was accurate, McVay neither confirmed nor denied.
“I don’t know what you would really call it,” I said. “I just know the elbow problem.”
Stafford, 34, looked perfectly fine during his limited work Thursday at UC Irvine. During a seven-on-seven drill, he stepped back and delivered a 50-yard pass to the receiver Atwell tutu.
This kind of play no doubt caused McVay to breathe a sigh of relief. His veteran quarterback looked as sweet and strong as he did last season when he led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory.
But a long pass is not the long game for Stafford, McVay and a team trying to repeat.
Stafford played through arm pain last season and still had 41 touchdowns, with 17 interceptions. A month after engineering a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, the Rams gave Stafford an overtime that included $120 million in guarantees.
Stafford received a injection in his elbow during the offseason and did not throw a bye in spring team-organized activity workouts.
He told reporters last week that his arm was “moving forward” and was “kind of where I want to be, and just continues to feel better.” Strengthen it.
But the elbow pain persists, according to McVay.
“We tried some things in the offseason, but you want to look at some of the different treatments that we had tried, and I don’t know if it gave different results than we were hoping for,” McVay said. “But I think we were hoping some of the pain would have been dulled – and that’s really the point.”
In 2018 and 2019, McVay tried to deal with running back Todd Gurley’s knee issue, but it was a first for the sixth-year Rams coach.
“It’s something I’ve never gone through as a coach with a quarterback.”
After Stafford took limited shots during Monday’s full-team drills, McVay said the 14th-year pro’s workload would be reduced. After Tuesday’s day off, Stafford did not throw a pass on Wednesday, and McVay said the quarterback would be kept out of team drills until at least when the Rams return to their facility in Thousand Oaks at the end of next week.
But Stafford took part in individual exercises on Thursday.
“He’s doing rehab every day,” McVay said, “and then hopefully I get some clarification on ‘Okay, he’s getting the results we want, he’s feeling better, and we’ll see. our guy doing his thing in Sept. 8.’ “
Receiver Jacob Harris will be out for a week or two with a groin strain, McVay said. … Wide receiver Cooper Kupp participated in the first part of practice but received the last part, McVay said. … Outside linebacker Terrell Lewis was given a day off, McVay said.