IRVINE, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said quarterback Matthew StaffordThe right elbow pain is “a little abnormal for a quarterback,” comparing it instead to what pitchers deal with.
Stafford, who dealt with an elbow injury last season, received an injection in his right elbow during the offseason. He did not throw during the Rams’ spring training, saying he and the team tried to be smart with his pitching arm.
Stafford threw during individual and 7-on-7 drills on Thursday but did not participate in team reps. McVay said earlier in the week that he doesn’t expect Stafford to do that before the Rams leave Irvine on Aug. 10.
McVay said the Rams’ coaching staff and Stafford “tried a few things in the offseason” with the goal of alleviating some of the pain he felt in his elbow. McVay said going 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? We didn’t think so. And I think I have a responsibility to try to make decisions in the best alignment using medical experts and talking to Matthew. And so all of those things combined led to where we are now. And it’s always an evolving process, but we’re really taking over these next couple of weeks, seeing how they go.”
McVay said Wednesday that Stafford’s pain is not a setback but is “consistent with what’s going on.”
“[You] want to try to get him to operate with as little pain as possible,” McVay said. “I think any time you’ve played as long and as tough as he is, I don’t know if you ever really hurt- free, but the target would be for September 8th and really look at 17 games then hopefully a few games after that if we get that opportunity.
“That’s the perspective and the big picture approach that we want to be able to take. I don’t know that I would have felt as comfortable taking that approach if it wasn’t for the experience that he’s accumulated and knowing how intentional he is about staying up to speed with his mental and physical work that he can do in the absence of some of the things in the team settings.”
McVay said he thought Stafford “looked really good” during practice on Thursday.
“Even on routes in the air, on the types of throws where you really see all parts of the field being activated, that’s a really good thing,” McVay said. “And so I’ve definitely seen improvement. He’s made those types of throws before, but to be able to just do it in a smart fashion is kind of what we’re really chasing.”