It’s hard to know what irritates Matthew Stafford more – pain in the right elbow or questions from journalists about it.
The Rams quarterback tried on Saturday to douse the flames of concern that erupted this week when coach Sean McVay said the 14th year pro was working in a condition that is “abnormal” for a quarterback.
“I’m not too worried about what it’s called or if it’s abnormal or not or anything,” Stafford said after practice at UC Irvine. “What worries me here: how I felt, let’s continue to progress and improve.”
Although Stafford described it as “a little pain” and McVay again said he didn’t know the term for what Stafford was going through, a person with knowledge of the situation said this week that Stafford was dealing with tendonitis.
Stafford played through pain last season, had 41 touchdowns and led the Rams to Super Bowl LVI victory at SoFi Stadium.
After the season, he received an injection of platelet-rich plasma in his arm. He also signed an extension that includes $120 million in guarantees.
Stafford hasn’t thrown passes during offseason practices and the Rams are trying to manage his workload during training camp.
Can this be considered a chronic disease?
“Oh no,” Stafford said. “I’m just going through something that’s irritating right now, but I’m working on it.
“We have a great plan, I feel stronger every time I come here and throw.”
On Saturday, Stafford looked in top form, throwing short, medium and long passes in individual drills and seven sessions against seven. He is kept out of full team drills.
“I felt like I could make any throw I wanted,” he said, adding, “and I was just trying to be smart when I got those opportunities and try make sure I can come here, drop it, drop it like I did and go from there.
McVay said Stafford’s performance shows the Rams are “fully on track” with their plan to ensure Stafford is ready for the Sept. 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills and beyond. of the.
“The ball was jumping out of his hand, making all types of throws,” McVay said. “I think he was trying to show [reporters] that, you know, probably not a lot of questions you can ask him either based on how he felt and how he was throwing it.
Questions, of course, remain about how Stafford will hold up for a team trying to become the first since 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Stafford tried to sound like he was surprised by the reaction to McVay’s “abnormal” comment earlier in the week. McVay also said it sounds more like an injury major league baseball players deal with.
“It’s been a lot more successful than I thought it would be,” Stafford said, adding, “But to be honest, it’s not really life changing for me.
“I’m just sticking to the plan and trying to feel as good as possible so I can play there and play really good football all year.”
During his 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, Stafford suffered numerous injuries, including arm issues. He threw more than 7,000 passes in regular season and playoff games, according to Profootballreference.com. And that’s not counting the thousands of passes thrown during training.
“I’m not going to go into too much detail about how we got here,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the only cause, but I’m sure it contributes to it.
“Anytime you put an arm under as much stress as I have over the years, it won’t look like [a reporter’s] elbow, but it’s not one of those things that the more I throw, the worse it’s going to get. It’s just a balancing act at this point.
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