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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Matthew Stafford dealing with unusual injury in throwing arm

Matthew Stafford in a hat

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford has a Super Bowl to defend this year, but his body may not be cooperating.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Thursday that Los Angeles Rams quarterback is dealing with an issue in his throwing elbow and is being limited at training camp.

Later on Thursday, Rams coach Sean McVay addressed Stafford’s ailment. He said that Stafford’s issue is “a tricky deal,” “abnormal for a QB,” and more something that “MLB pitchers deal with,” per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. McVay also said that this is not a new injury for Stafford, who dealt with an elbow issue through last season as well. Instead what is new is the way the Rams are managing Stafford’s ailment this year, McVay adds.

Rapoport further notes that this kind of injury is sometimes referred to in baseball players as “thrower’s elbow.”

If Stafford was dogged by the elbow issue last year, it certainly did not show. In his first season with the Rams, Stafford posted some of the best numbers of his career in throwing yards (4,886), throwing touchdowns (41), as well as completion percentage (67.2). He also started in all 17 regular season games and topped it all off by capturing his elusive first Super Bowl win.

That is not to say though that Stafford’s elbow ailment is unconcerning. He will be 35 years old in a few months and is about to begin Season 14 in the NFL, meaning that Stafford has accumulated a lot wear and tear over the years. Furthermore, a quarterback’s throwing arm is his golden ticket, so any issue there is worrisome, especially for an older QB.

The Rams have made a big commitment to Stafford, who is signed through 2026 on a deal that will pay him $130 million guaranteed (though the team does have a potential out before the final season of Stafford’s contract). His elbow ailment could easily end up as a nothing burger, particularly since the Rams are proactively managing it. But it will still be one of many storylines to watch out for with the defending champs heading into the new season.

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