It’s not Matthew Stafford’s elbow that LA Rams need to worry about

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Much of the pregame narrative that covered LA Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford covered and rehashed the news that he had soreness in his throwing elbow after the Super Bowl LVI victory. That soreness was treated with an anti-inflammatory injection in the joint, an elbow brace that limited movement, and not throwing in OTAs.

But the story of the Rams quarterback during the season opener against the Buffalo Bills was anything but a story about his elbow. Now, the story is whether he can weather many more beatings like the one he suffered on Thursday Night Football

Through four games in the postseason last year, including Super Bowl LVI, Matthew Stafford completed 98 of 140 passes for 1,188 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions, and was sacked seven times.

In one game so far this season, Matthew Stafford completed 29 of 41 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions, and was sacked seven times. One game, and as many interceptions and sacks as the Rams playoff run from last year. QB sacks like this one:

It’s far too early in the season to panic. But it’s a shame that the Rams didn’t leave the football field in a manner that warranted celebrating the accomplishment of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford for matching Drew Brees as the fastest NFL quarterback to 50,000 passing yards. Instead, getting him dropped to the ground like a sack of potatoes seven times leaves everyone wondering if he can stay healthy enough to finish the season, let alone compete in the postseason.

Now, it’s up to the LA Rams to regroup. We know that rookie RB Kyren Williams is injured, and will likely be assigned to IR as soon as the team can predict his recovery time.  We know that the LA Rams offensive line suffered some injuries, and the team plans to bench starting center Brian Allen, currently estimated anywhere from two to four weeks, while he has a knee injury addressed.

But the play distribution in Week 1 is going to get Stafford battered and bruised at the Week 7 BYE week. 41 passes to just 18 runs?  Yowza.

Stafford can take a licking and keep on ticking. We know that. But let’s not test that theory, okay? Protecting the quarterback is always a high priority on offense. But for a veteran quarterback who barely gets reassembled and put back together in time to start a new NFL season? It has to be the highest priority.

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