Will a healthy Matthew Stafford help the Rams bounce back into Super Bowl contention? An elbow injury that required surgery prevented the quarterback from participating in offseason activities last season.
It possibly disrupted Los Angeles‘ offensive synergy and factored in to the Rams’ 5-12 record. He’s participated fully in this year’s program and making a big impact.
“Oh, it’s night and day,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Stafford in a Wednesday news conference. “He makes a significant difference. He’s our guy, and I’ve really enjoyed this offseason with him.” Stafford also acknowledged that he’s enjoyed having a more active role this offseason.
“It’s nice [to be back],” Stafford said in a Wednesday news conference. “It’s tough to sit on the sidelines like I did last year for so much time and not be able to get any reps.”
Stafford’s recovery is paramount for the Rams since he is a keystone. In 2021, he threw the league’s second-most TDs (41) and went 12-5 as a starter, helping the organization capture its second Super Bowl title.
Last season Stafford’s injury problems continued during the regular season. He only played in nine games and sat out for the remainder of the regular season after suffering a spinal cord contusion in a Week 11 loss to the Saints. The Rams posted a 2-6 record without their franchise QB.
Thus far, Stafford looks like he’s regained his arm strength and rhythm. “In the mini-camp, which concluded Wednesday, Stafford appeared to make strong throws during red-zone work,” wrote Chase Darden of Yahoo Sports.
If Stafford’s recovery continues to go smoothly, don’t be surprised if the Rams redevelop their offensive groove and become one of the NFC’s top teams again.