Rams HC Sean McVay said Friday that QB Matt Stafford is not expected to need surgery on his spinal cord contusion and should be healthy for the offseason program. There's been some speculation that Stafford's injury could force him to retire, but it at least sounds like McVay expects him to be back for 2023. We'll monitor Stafford's status throughout the offseason.
Rams QB Matt Stafford appears to be throwing a full workload in training camp, according to The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue. That wasn't the case the past two summers, as Stafford dealt with injuries. “I feel a lot better physically,” Stafford said. “I feel really healthy compared to where I was at this point last year, so that’s fun for me.” There's bounce-back potential here given better health for Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and the Rams' offensive line.
Rams QB Matt Stafford's 2022 season ended in Week 11 with a spinal cord contusion. He was disappointing even before that, ranking 22nd among QBs in fantasy points per game. Stafford's 6.9 yards per pass attempt was his worst mark since 2018 and the fifth-worst mark among his 14 NFL seasons. A leaky offensive line was part of the problem. But Stafford registered his lowest Pro Football Focus passing grade since 2015, ranking 22nd among 31 qualifying QBs. Now 35, Stafford's best days are certainly behind him. But there's some bounce-back potential here with better health for Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and the offensive line. Remember that Stafford finished fifth among QBs in fantasy points in his Rams debut in 2021. We're not expecting him to return to that level of production -- but he doesn't need to at his current QB19 ADP. See where Stafford sits in our 2023 QB Rankings.
Cam DaSilva of USA Today writes that QB Matthew Stafford is “fully healthy and taking part in everything” this offseason. That wasn’t the case last year, as the veteran needed an injection in his right elbow after the ’21 season. “Oh, it’s night and day. And he’ll be the first to tell you,” HC Sean McVay said on Stafford’s improved health. At QB20, he's going in a reasonable range in drafts. It’s just hard to see Stafford crushing that spot given the Rams’ lack of weapons behind Cooper Kupp.
The Rams are hiring Mike LaFleur as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. LaFleur replaces Liam Coen, who left Los Angeles after just 1 season to return to his previous post as Kentucky's OC. LaFleur struggled as Jets OC the past 2 years, with both of those teams finishing bottom 8 in both total yards and points. Like Rams HC Sean McVay, LaFleur comes from the Shanahan coaching tree, so there should be plenty of synergy here. McVay will still be running the show, though, so don't expect a big change to the Rams' play calling.
The Rams are expected to pick up QB Matt Stafford's 2023 option bonus and 2024 salary, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It'll pay Stafford a combined $62 million in guaranteed money. There had been questions about Stafford's football future after a spinal cord contusion ended his 2022 season. He's avoided surgery, though, and is expected to be ready for the offseason program. With HC Sean McVay also returning for 2023, the Rams offense has bounce-back potential with better health and improvements along the offensive line.
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