Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't throw in Wednesday's practice as he continues to deal with an elbow issue that has limited his offseason work.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on Inside Training Camp Live that Stafford is dealing with what is described as "bad tendinitis" or "thrower's elbow."
"My understanding, this elbow issue, which actually cropped up in the spring, is described to me as bad tendinitis," Rapoport said. "It is a tendon issue in his throwing elbow. [He] had a little of a procedure -- not a surgery, but a procedure -- more of a PRP-type deal in the offseason to try to manage it. Did not get to a place where he really needs it to be. I think long-term, everyone in L.A. thinks this is going to be fine. I don't sense any stress about it, but it's a quarterback. It's a throwing arm. Obviously, something we need to monitor going forward."
Stafford didn't throw during the Rams' spring workouts and had his reps limited earlier this week. He threw on Thursday, as well, in a bit of a surprise.
Coach Sean McVay said Wednesday that Stafford didn't suffer a setback and the rest period was part of the team's "plan."
"No, it's consistent with what's been going on," McVay said, via the team's transcript. "It's just more of, when you really look at the totality of it, want to try to have him operate in as little as pain as possible. I think 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 but the goal would be for September 8 and really looking towards 17 games then hopefully some games after that if we earn that opportunity.
"That's kind of the perspective and the big picture approach that we want to be able to take. I don't know that I would feel 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 his physical work that he can do in the absence of some of the stuff in the team settings."
Stafford isn't expected to work in team drills the rest of this week or next, according to McVay. Backup John Wolford will handle the starting reps.
Stafford was a surprise participant Thursday, taking part in individual drills and 7-on-7 work. His elbow didn't seem to hinder him on this deep connection with Tutu Atwell:
It's always a concern whenever a quarterback deals with arm issues. But Stafford has battled through pain in the past, so it's unclear at this stage how much of a concern there should be with the signal-caller.
The team believes the plan to take it easy on the QB during camp will give him the best opportunity to be ready for the regular season.
"I am optimistic that it'll give us the best chance for him to feel as good as possible," McVay said. "Would you say, 'Hey, you'd love him to have no issues and be out here playing and getting all these reps?' Of course. But this is the thing that we think is best.
"This is one of those deals where you kind of take your own advice where, 'Hey, let's just be right here in the moment, take it a day at a time,' and I thought we got better as a team today and we're getting some encouraging things. I think you want to be careful to say, 'Okay, well it's just been a couple days,' but I think for us being able to really give it a week, two weeks, is where you give it enough time to really see… 'Okay, is this new plan that we've implemented getting the results, that were hunting up.' I think everybody feels good about that and that's the plan that we're going to go with for the next couple weeks."
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