Did you know that Matthew Stafford and Clayton Kershaw were childhood friends? Of course, you did. Everyone knows that.
What you actually might not have known is that the Rams star quarterback and the Dodgers All-Star pitcher had nearly identical injuries this past offseason, which both of them overcame right in time for highly anticipated seasons. Two old friends, same injury, same positive outcome.
Stafford heads into tonight's kickoff game against the Bills at 100 percent after an offseason filled with questions about his right elbow. Diagnosed with an ailment described as "thrower's elbow" that affected the tendon, sources with knowledge of his rehab said, Stafford has now concluded a six-month rehab designed to make his elbow strong enough to withstand the rigors of the season.
Stafford recently described himself as having "no limitations," and that's because he actually has less pain now than he did last season, sources said. It was similar for his buddy from Highland Park, Texas, who is having another stellar season at 7-3 with a 2.62 ERA. Kershaw has been on the IL, but with lower back issues, not elbow.
Last October, Kershaw revealed he received a PRP injection in his left flexor tendon and that was the only treatment he would receive. It was the same for Stafford, who had a PRP injection into a similar area, as well as a non-surgical procedure involved in healing the elbow.
Kershaw was ready for the season, as expected. As for Stafford, he has passed his toughest hurdle -- training camp. A team's preparation is so predicated on a quarterback's throws, that Stafford taking it easy with his arm might have altered the installation of the offense.
That's why the Rams eased off Stafford throwing late in camp, so it wouldn't interfere with their preparation for the season. They didn't want to add unnecessary throws or take away reps from everyone else.
By the time late August rolled around, the six-month rehab was over. Earlier this week, he proclaimed it himself and coach Sean McVay said he would have "no hesitation" if Stafford needed to throw it 50 times.