After an offseason of alarm bells for Matthew Stafford's elbow, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback provided an encouraging update on Wednesday.
Stafford told reporters his right elbow feels "good" and he feels "right on track to be doing what I want to be doing" a day after a full workload in an intersquad scrimmage, according to ESPN. Stafford had been dealing with some soreness throughout training camp.
"I'm just going out there, doing my work [and] trusting the process that we have," Stafford said. "I know that I'm able to go out there and function at a high level right now. So whatever it feels like, hopefully, continues to keep getting better as it has.
"But I know that functionally, I feel like I can do everything I need to do. So just trying to continue on that road."
Stafford's elbow troubles go back to last season, when he was dealing with elbow pain plus a litany of other injuries by Week 12 (he also played through a torn UCL in his left elbow the previous season). That pain didn't go away for the rest of the season.
Stafford eventually got an injection shortly after the Rams' victory at Super Bowl LVI and his subsequent rehab kept him from throwing during the Rams' spring workouts, per ESPN. The issue found new life earlier this month when Rams head coach Sean McVay described the issue, at this point identified as tendinitis, as "abnormal" and something analogous to MLB pitcher injuries:
“It’s a little bit abnormal for a quarterback, some of this stuff is things that MLB pitchers deal with, so it is something that we’re kind of learning about on the fly and his feedback,” McVay said Thursday, via a transcript from the team. “We’re really trying to just figure out, ‘OK, how do we get the best plan in place to try to minimize some of the things that he was having to push through,’ while also giving him the confidence that, ‘Hey, I can really just, let it go, not have to worry about it, play to the best of my ability.’"
The 34-year-old Stafford has played 189 games in his career counting playoffs and been sacked 428 times in those games, so the Rams are going to be careful with these types of injuries, especially when they just signed him to a four-year, $160 million contract extension.
The Rams have two more preseason games remaining before they open the NFL season at home against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.