Stafford’s camp boosts Rams significantly

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford expressed his delight in being a fully participating member of the team’s on-field activities this offseason. This was a significant change for Stafford, who had to sit out last year’s activities due to an elbow injury that required surgery.

After completing the mandatory minicamp on Wednesday, Stafford reflected on his progress. He couldn’t participate in the initial preparations for the 2022 season due to the lingering effects of an elbow injury from the 2021 season. This injury had forced him to miss OTAs and minicamp as well.

“It’s a great feeling,” Stafford said. “I love being out here, practicing, competing, and playing with these guys. Sitting on the sideline for so long last year without getting any reps was tough, so it’s been fantastic to have had plenty of reps this offseason. I feel good and I’m excited about returning in July.”

Stafford’s injury was a result of his first season with the Los Angeles Rams, where he helped lead the team to a Super Bowl victory in their home stadium after spending 12 years with the Detroit Lions. Managing his right elbow carefully was crucial leading up to last season, but now he feels ready to fully participate.

Coach Sean McVay highlighted the positive impact of having Stafford available and actively participating, describing it as a “night and day” difference.

“None of us, including myself, fully realized the extent of the pain he was dealing with and how limited he was,” McVay stated. “He’s incredibly tough and would never complain about it. But having our quarterback out there, his command, the way he elevates the team, his communication skills—it’s been a game-changer for us. He makes a significant difference.”

During the previous season, Stafford played in nine games but was unable to finish the season due to a concussion and neck injury sustained in a Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The Rams had a disappointing 5-12 record, failing to mount a strong defense of their title. Expectations for the upcoming season aren’t significantly higher, as the team had to release standout players to address salary cap issues and has integrated several rookies into the roster.

Stafford dismissed concerns about the team’s prospects and remained focused on their goal of building a strong football team.

“We’re striving to build a really good football team here, and that takes hard work,” Stafford emphasized. “Whether people believe in our success or not doesn’t matter to us. Just because people expected us to win the Super Bowl two years ago doesn’t mean we won it. We put in the work and executed, and that’s the mindset we’re adopting. I’m grateful for where we’re at.”