While there is never going to be an NFL trainer, coach, or teammate of LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford who can keep him on the sidelines during a game unless he physically can no longer stand, the Rams did themselves no favors by allowing an already banged up Stafford to compete further in a game that was already decided.
Stafford is one tough cookie, a throwback to the days when the most popular remedy to a football injury was 'rub a little dirt on it,' and send the player back onto the football field. And in the days when the NFL had just transitioned from former leather helmets to the more recognizable hard-plastic versions of the modern era, that seemed to be enough.
But that is not the case today.
Today, the LA Rams have to face a Week 9 that may not include starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Even with a Week 10 BYE, the Rams may not benefit from a healthy Stafford under center for the near-term future. The reason? He has an injured UCL in the thumb of his throwing hand, the same UCL injury that he suffered during the 2020 NFL season and had surgically repaired before joining the Rams in 2021.
It's located as per the image below:
So why is this something that can have a potentially long-term impact for the Rams? Well, for the immediate preparation for Week 9, the LA Rams do not know if Stafford can go. If not, that means that the Rams will go with backup quarterback Brett Rypien. If anything happens to Rypien? Then the Rams will have to turn to former reserve quarterback Dresser Winn, a player who has not even officially signed with the Rams today.
Sounds a bit scary? It should. The Rams will be effectively down to one starting quarterback, and a young man who hasn't a prayer of generating anything positive with this Rams offense if Rypien is unable to finish the game:
But there is more at play here.