LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford played through injuries and pain

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Does toughness still count?

While it has been duly noted and reported that LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford played in 2020 with an injured thumb (which required off-season surgery to clean up), seems he also played with (through?) a host of other nagging injuries in his last season with the Detroit Lions. That’s because you can add left elbow, ribs, back of the left knee, and right ankle to his M*A*S*H list.

"‘“I mean, this past year was bad,” Stafford said. “I had the partially torn UCL in my right thumb, I tore my UCL on my left elbow on the second to last play of the Houston game that nobody knew about, trying to stiff arm a guy. That’s why I started wearing a sleeve on my left arm because I had all sorts of tape underneath it, just to hold it in place. I broke my cartilage on my eighth rib in Green Bay. I also tore something [in the back of] my left knee. And then I had a subtalar, right ankle sprain.”-per Detroit Free Press interview with Mitch Albom"

Seems he tore the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (also known as the UCL) in his left elbow in a November 2020 game versus the Houston Texans . . . and did it whilst trying to stiff-arm a defender. The Ulnar Collateral Ligament is a complicated combo of three bands that keep the elbow working properly that medical people refer to it as the UCL “complex.”

Tearing the UCL is basically, no Bueno. And repairing an injury there can be anything from rest to surgery.

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Think Tommy John surgery, most commonly happening amongst MLB pitchers. Because that’s also known as “ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction,” a surgical graft procedure where the UCL elbow ligament is replaced with either a tendon taken from elsewhere in your body, or harvested from a deceased donor.

Good thing the Rams’ starting quarterback is not left-handed!