What is Matthew Stafford’s elbow status as LA Rams hunt Buffalo?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford is the Timex watch of NFL starting quarterbacks. How so? He ‘takes a licking and keeps on ticking,‘ is why.  Stafford has had a long and storied NFL career, but perhaps the most astonishing chapters involve how a battered Stafford has endured pain beyond the normal human threshold to stand in the pocket and deliver a game-winning touchdown pass.

At the end of the NFL season, Matthew Stafford has a laundry list of ailments that need medical attention, intervention, and sometimes medical procedures, to heal in time for a new NFL season. This year, the veteran quarterback had lingering pain in his throwing elbow, pain that required medical intervention in the form of an anti-inflammatory shot into the joint.  That procedure was followed by lingering pain and discomfort.

So the LA Rams took things slowly. Stafford did not throw in OTAs, as he wore an elbow brace that limited his range of motion. But in training camp, he began to increase the workload. By the end of training camp, he was throwing the football all over the field.

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Matthew Stafford has no limitations

Now, we have the ‘all’s clear’ report from NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, indicating that Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has no limitations in his game.

That’s a good thing because the LA Rams need everything that Stafford’s got in him to win this year, starting with the season Thursday Night Football opener on September 8, 2022. In that one, the LA Rams host the very dangerous Buffalo Bills.

In the season opener last year, Stafford played nearly a flawless game against the Chicago Bears, a team he is quite familiar with. In that one, he completed 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns, resulting in a passer rating of 156.1, his highest rating of the season. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Van Jefferson were all in on the scoring in that one.

This year, the team will feature Cooper Kupp alongside Allen Robinson and a combination of Tutu Atwell/Ben Skowronek/Brandon Powell/and Lance McCutcheon. Robert Woods is suiting up for the Tennessee Titans this year, and Van Jefferson is not quite healed up from a knee injury.

Can Stafford match his 2021 opener performance? I think so. While the Buffalo Bills’ pass defense was awfully stingy in 2021, the team surrendered over 100 yards more through the air on the road than at home. And thanks to a 2021 schedule, the Bills faced the NFC South and AFC South Divisions, neither division was exceptionally strong in passing offense.

The Bills’ pass defense will be tested this year, as the Bills tackle the NFC West and the AFC North Divisions, starting off by facing the aerial assault of the LA Rams. Matthew Stafford has no limits in the opener. That means that the Rams’ offense is ready to go.

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