IRVINE, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said quarterback Matthew Stafford’s right elbow pain was “a bit abnormal for a quarterback,” comparing it instead to this pitchers have to deal with.
Stafford, who injured his elbow last season, received an injection in his right elbow during the offseason. He didn’t throw during spring training for the Rams, saying he and the team were trying to be smart with his throwing arm.
Stafford pitched in individual and 7-on-7 drills Thursday, but did not participate in team reps. McVay said earlier in the week he didn’t expect Stafford to make it before the Rams leave Irvine on Aug. 10.
McVay said the Rams and Stafford coaching staff “tried a few things in the offseason” in an effort to alleviate some of the pain he was feeling in his elbow. McVay said coming into camp, the Rams knew they wanted to have “a modified approach and a progressive build.”
“Could he do it? Yes,” McVay said. “Is that the best thing? We didn’t think so. And I think I have a responsibility to try to make decisions that are in the best alignment using medical experts and talking to Matthew. And so all those things combined have led to where we are right now, and it’s an ever-evolving process, but we’re really taking control of these next two weeks, to see how it unfolds.
McVay said Wednesday that Stafford’s pain is not a setback but “consistent with what happened.”
“[You] I want to try to get him operated on with as little pain as possible,” McVay said. “I think every time you’ve played this long and you’re as tough as him, I don’t know if you really hurt- free, but the target would be for September 8 and really aim for 17 games and then hopefully a few games after that if we win this opportunity.
“That’s kind of the perspective and the holistic approach that we want to be able to take. I don’t know if I would feel as comfortable taking that approach if it wasn’t for the experience that he has. accumulated and knowing how intentional it is to stay on top of his mental and physical work that he can do in the absence of certain things within the parameters of the team.”
McVay said he thought Stafford “looked really good” in practice Thursday.
“Even in the aerial courses, in the types of throws where you really see all parts of the court activating, that’s a really good thing,” McVay said. “And so I’ve definitely seen an improvement. He was doing those kinds of throws before, but being able to do it in a smart way is kind of what we’re really looking for.”