Watch: Doctor explains what spinal cord contusion means for Matthew Stafford’s future

After a few weeks of uncertainty and questions about Matthew Stafford’s condition, Sean McVay finally revealed Sunday what’s going on with the veteran quarterback. He told reporters that Stafford has a spinal cord contusion and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Any injury to the spine is obviously worrisome, especially for a player who takes as many hits as Stafford does. McVay stopped short of saying how long the typical recovery, which left many wondering whether Stafford will be healthy for 2023.

“That’s an injury that is anywhere between – there’s a good chance that’s probably the case,” McVay said when asked if Stafford is out for the year.

He didn’t immediately rule Stafford out for the season, which could be taken as a good sign, but this is a real concern for the Rams and their star quarterback.

Dr. David Chao, who goes by Pro Football Doc on Twitter, shared a video explaining Stafford’s injury and whether it’s a career-threatening issue. Based on what Chao heard about the injury, including the numbness Stafford felt in both legs, he’s worried about the long-term effects of the contusion.

“It was the neck issue that caused numbness into both of his legs. This is very concerning anytime numbness goes to legs from a neck injury and also both sides. That’s why it implied some sort of spinal cord issue,” Chao said.

A contusion is basically a bruise to the spinal cord, which could require surgery.

“Obviously, you cannot mess around with the spinal cord,” he continued. “Any small risk of permanent damage needs to be avoided. This is why he’s being shut down for the season. What the medical staff has to do is find out why it happened. Was there instability at one segment? Was there a disc? Was there a canal narrowing? What is it and how do you correct it and prevent it? Which might mean surgery.”

In Chao’s mind, the options for Stafford are either have surgery or retire, which seem like two extremes with no middle ground.

“It seems Matthew Stafford and his family will have a choice this offseason,” Chao said. “Either do something to correct the risk of further spinal cord contusion and potential permanent damage, usually with a neck surgery, fusion surgery, decompression surgery of some kind, which you can return to play. Or you can decide to hang it up after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl ring. This will be a real question for Matthew Stafford as to what he wants to do.”

Chao isn’t the Rams’ team doctor and he hasn’t actually diagnosed Stafford, so he’s just basing his analysis on past experience with this sort of injury. But this sure doesn’t seem like a minor injury for Stafford.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire