No trigger for alarm, Rams coach Sean McVay has cautioned.
Or is there?
Two days after McVay mentioned quarterback Matthew Stafford was nonetheless feeling ache in his proper arm and that his workload can be lowered, the 14th-year professional didn’t throw a go throughout Wednesday’s exercise.
Verify that: He did toss the ball left-handed earlier than observe started.
“This was part of the plan,” McVay mentioned.
The purpose is to get the 34-year-old Stafford to the Sept. 8 opener in opposition to the Buffalo Payments — and past — with little or no discomfort in his throwing arm, McVay mentioned.
As a part of the Rams plan, McVay mentioned Stafford wouldn’t take part in full-team drills in the course of the subsequent three days of observe at UC Irvine, or throughout practices subsequent week earlier than the Rams return to Thousand Oaks.
“Anytime that you’ve played as long and are as tough as he is, I don’t know if you’re ever truly pain-free,” McVay mentioned. “But the goal would be for September 8 and, really looking toward 17 games and then hopefully some games after that if we earn that opportunity.
“That’s kind of the perspective, the big-picture approach we want to be able to take.”
Stafford is coming off a Tremendous Bowl LVI victory that earned him an extension that features $120 million in ensures, in keeping with overthecap.com. Throughout 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions and one with the Rams, Stafford has thrown greater than 7,000 passes in the course of the common season and playoffs, in keeping with profootballreference.com.
So, Stafford most likely doesn’t want many coaching camp observe reps to be prepared for the Payments.
However the situation of Stafford’s proper arm is an apparent concern for a crew aiming to develop into the primary in almost twenty years to win consecutive Tremendous Bowl titles.
Final season, Stafford performed by means of ache and handed for 41 touchdowns, with 17 interceptions. If he had not skilled a turnover-plagued, three-game stretch of defeats, he might need been an MVP candidate at season’s finish.
Regardless of receiving an offseason injection in his arm and throwing no passes throughout organized crew exercise exercises in the course of the spring, he isn’t pain-free.
On Wednesday, Stafford handed off the ball just a few instances throughout particular person drills. He them moved to a different discipline, took phantom snaps and labored on dropping again and rolling out. He additionally did drills underneath the watchful eye of a member of the Rams sports activities science crew.
However he didn’t elevate his proper hand above his head.
Is McVay involved that, regardless of the plan, Stafford nonetheless might have the identical arm subject when the season begins?
“Is there a possibility that that conversation occurs? Sure,” McVay mentioned. “But based on the medical experts and the plan in talking with Matthew, this is what we think is best.”
In the previous few days, the Rams obtained unspecified “encouraging signs” that their plan was working, McVay mentioned.
However time will inform.
“Being able to really give it a week, two weeks is where you give it enough time to really see, ‘OK, is this new plan that we’ve implemented getting the results that we’re hunting up?’ ” he mentioned.
Backup John Wolford has been taking first-team snaps in Stafford’s place. Wolford was not shocked when he stepped into the position Monday.
“I think that was the plan from the get-go,” he mentioned. “We knew training camp’s long, and Stafford’s played for what is year 16 or whatever, so there’s no reason to drive him into the ground.”
Star receiver Cooper Kupp didn’t sound nervous about Stafford’s skill to start out the season with restricted coaching camp reps.
“He’s played very high-level football for a long time — he’s going to be able to throw the rock,” Kupp mentioned, including, “He’s still as engaged as ever and, whenever that time comes when he’s able to be out there and throw the ball, I know he’s going to be ready to go.”
And so on.
Receiver Van Jefferson had left knee surgical procedure Tuesday. McVay mentioned “there’s a possibility” Jefferson could possibly be obtainable for the opener. “That will be something that I’ll have a better feel for as he really starts getting in the rehab,” he mentioned. … Star defensive lineman Aaron Donald was given the time without work, McVay mentioned.