4 players who may be aging less-than-gracefully on LA Rams roster

As the LA Rams wind down in 2023, here are four players who may be aging less-than-gracefully in 2023.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee / Harry How/GettyImages
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Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

II: The oldest active NFL player at his position

The fact that veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford is one tough hombre is well-established in NFL circles. After all, Matthew Stafford once dislocated his shoulder, checked back into the game, and threw a game-winning touchdown for the Detroit Lions. That is one tough son of a gun. But this is not about Stafford's resiliency. This is about the fact that Stafford is playing less like prime-time Stafford.

Of course, the first season of Stafford in the LA Rams offense may not be a fair high bar to use. In 2021, Stafford completed 404 of 601 passes for 4,886 yards, 41 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, three fourth-quarter comebacks and four game winning drives. While that was a key reason for the Rams winning Super Bowl LVI, it also set a tremendously high standard for any quarterback.

The problem is that in each year since winning the Super Bowl, Stafford has been injured to a point of not being able to start for the Rams. He missed eight games for the Rams in 2022, and has already missed one game in 2023.

Healing at 35 is not a picnic

Stafford may be waning from his career peak, but he is still the best quarterback option for the LA Rams in 2023, and 2024. So what business do I have putting Stafford on this list? Truthfully, it's the fact that Stafford has been so resilient, and injury-prone, that has prompted him to appear on this list. Like a Timex watch, Stafford has built an entire NFL career of taking a licking and going right on ticking. But at 35 years old and still taking a pounding in the pocket, Stafford's ability to shake off those bumps, bruises, sprains, and strains that come with the job of quarterbacking in the NFL are beginning to take their toll on him.

With each new injury, Stafford needs more time to heal fully. The problem is that time comes at a premium in the NFL, and the Rams are built around the expectation that the starting quarterback will be Matthew Stafford.