Jul 31, 2022; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay (left) and quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No restrictions on Rams QB Matthew Stafford heading into opener

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will have no limitations with his balky right elbow, head coach Sean McVay said Sunday, when the defending Super Bowl champions open their season Thursday against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Stafford, 34, dealt with elbow discomfort last season, yet still guided the Rams to a 12-5 record in the regular season and a trip through the playoffs that culminated with a 23-20 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

The elbow issues surfaced again for Stafford in training camp, but the Rams were able to work through them.

Stafford told reporters Sunday that he has done rehab work to alleviate the discomfort.

“I can get you a PDF later of all the things I have done,” Stafford joked to the media.

In his first season with the Rams, Stafford threw for 4,886 yards, while completing 67.2 percent of his passes. He threw for 41 touchdowns but was tied for the NFL lead with 17 interceptions.

Over 13 NFL seasons, the first 12 with the Detroit Lions, Stafford has 49,995 yards passing and has completed 63.0 percent of his passes. He has 323 TD passes with 161 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams watches passing drills during practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.


Lions’ 1st-round pick to wear No. 9 with Matthew Stafford’s blessing

Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams reached out to Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford for permission to wear the No. 9 jersey in Detroit.

Williams, who was selected with the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, initially chose No. 18 in what he considered to be honoring Calvin Johnson. The Pro Football Hall of Famer had worn No. 81 during his career with the Lions.

Williams revealed his jersey number on Instagram, but only after reportedly reaching out to Stafford via text as a courtesy.

Stafford didn’t have any objections, per ESPN.

To be clear, the number is not retired by the Lions and Williams was under no obligation to ask for permission.

Stafford played 12 seasons with the Lions after the team selected him with the top overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He went on to guide the Rams to a Super Bowl title last season in his first campaign with the club.

Williams is recovering from a torn ACL he sustained while playing for Alabama in the national championship game.

He caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games last season for the Crimson Tide.

–Field Level Media

Jul 31, 2022; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay (left) and quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rams QB Matthew Stafford not throwing due to elbow

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will take some extended time off because of pain in his throwing elbow.

Coach Sean McVay said the Rams plan to keep Stafford, 34, on the sidelines during team drills the rest of this week and in practices next week — all with the goal of making sure the veteran quarterback is ready to go against the Buffalo Bills when the season opens on Sept. 8.

“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,” McVay said. “But the goal would be for Sept. 8 and, really looking toward 17 games and then hopefully some games after that if we earn that opportunity.

“That’s kind of the perspective, the big-picture approach we want to be able to take.”

In 2021, in his first season with the Rams, Stafford led Los Angeles to a win in Super Bowl LVI in February. After the season, he signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension.

Last season, he led the Rams to a 12-5 record in the regular season, setting a franchise record with 4,886 passing yards and tying a team mark with 41 touchdown passes.

Entering his 14th season, Stafford is five yards short of 50,000 for his career. He’s completed 63.0 percent of his 6,825 pass attempts with 323 touchdowns and 161 interceptions in 12 seasons with Detroit (2009-20) and the Rams.

The Lions selected him with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009.

–Field Level Media

Jul 31, 2022; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Elbow pain leads to lighter load for Rams QB Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford played into February for the first time in his career for the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams and the right-hander’s elbow could be showing signs of wear.

Head coach Sean McVay said Los Angeles is scaling back Stafford’s training camp workload and could take further precautions if pain persists in the elbow on the 34-year-old’s throwing arm.

“We’d lessened Matthew’s workload,” McVay said on Monday. “Really when we look at it, we’ve got five weeks until Sept. 8. He’s still feeling a little bit of pain, he could push through it. You guys have been out here, he’s been throwing and competing in team settings. We felt like the smart thing was let’s really just take it a week at a time. He ended up getting about 40 to 50 throws in individual. We didn’t take part in the team activities and that’s really more a result of he’s got so much experience.”

The Rams had a scheduled day off Tuesday and might use the time to construct more detailed plans of Stafford’s summer workload.

Los Angeles is the first NFL team to play a regular-season game, hosting the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 8, and Stafford isn’t expected to suit up in the preseason.

Stafford required an injection in the elbow during the offseason, but said he felt good to open training camp and embraced the team plan for a “pitch count.” Throughout his career, Stafford has played through various injuries, including toe and back issues last season.

“We could certainly push and he could really grind through this, but that’s not the goal with somebody like him,” said McVay. “It’s not something that we’re concerned about. We just want to be really smart with somebody that is as important as our quarterback is and as experienced as he is to be able to put together a plan that we feel like is in his best interest and in our team’s best interest.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rams sign QB Matthew Stafford to 4-year extension

The Los Angeles Rams signed quarterback Matthew Stafford to a four-year extension on Saturday.

The deal, worth a reported $160 million, keeps the Super Bowl LVI champion under contract with the Rams through the 2026 season.

Stafford, 34, set a franchise record with 4,886 passing yards and tied a team mark with 41 touchdown passes in his first season with Los Angeles in 2021.

The team did not disclose the financial details of the extension. NFL Network said it was worth $160 million with $135 million guaranteed.

He was heading into the final season of a five-year, $135 million extension signed with the Detroit Lions in 2017.

Stafford joined the Rams in a March 2021 trade with the Lions, his team for the first 12 seasons of his career.

He has passed for 49,995 yards and 323 touchdowns in 182 career starts since Detroit drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009.

–Field Level Media

Jan 30, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half during the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Lions tenure readied Matthew Stafford for Super Bowl debut with Rams

A high-powered telescope wouldn’t have helped Matthew Stafford spot the Super Bowl from Detroit.

The 13-year veteran will have the closest view possible on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, but all those fruitless seasons with the Lions are providing him with large doses of appreciation.

“I probably bring a unique perspective to this team,” Stafford said of the Rams during Monday’s media availability. “I didn’t have (playoff runs) at the beginning of my career but my experiences (in Detroit) have helped me become the player that I am and the teammate I am.

“It makes me appreciate the opportunity and I know they are hard to come by.”

Stafford played in three playoff games in Detroit — losing all three — but has reversed the scales in his first season in Los Angeles. He guided the Rams to three consecutive wins and now a career-defining opportunity awaits.

Stafford, who turned 34 on Monday, has passed for 905 yards, six touchdowns and one interception this postseason. He guided Los Angeles back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game for a 20-17 victory on Jan. 30.

Stafford has meshed well with two 36-year-old bosses — coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell — in his first season in Los Angeles. The results included matching his career best of 41 touchdown passes, which ranked second in the NFL behind Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (43).

“He and I are so close in age and I have so much respect for how he sees the game and this offense,” Stafford said of McVay. “And I feel he has great respect for my vision.

“Do we disagree in games and practices? Yes. But it is always with healthy respect of what the other person’s job is … and the way he calls the game is unbelievable. It’s great working with him. He’s such a smart guy, but such a relatable guy as well, so it’s been fun.”

Four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth said he was immediately impressed with how Stafford took responsibility for everything that occurs on the field.

An offensive lineman could miss the block or a receiver could run the wrong route and Stafford would jump in first to say that he could have done something better.

“I always had a ton of respect for him in the league and his talent and his ability and some of the crazy no-look throws and things he had done in his career,” Whitworth said. “You saw all the injuries he played through and how tough he was.

“He accepts all challenges. … He’s one heck of a football player and it gives you nothing but respect for him each and every day.”

All those traits developed in Detroit where Stafford couldn’t corral success.

Sure, the Lions won 10 games in 2011 and 11 in 2014, but they also finished below .500 in eight of Stafford’s 12 seasons.

After a 5-11 mark in 2020, Stafford knew it was time to leave. A deal with the Rams was consummated, with quarterback Jared Goff shipped to Detroit in return.

And over the past week, Stafford’s phone has been bustling with calls and messages from some of his former teammates with the Lions, including a text from Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson, his top target for seven seasons.

“I have heard from Calvin. I’ve heard from a bunch of old teammates,” Stafford said. “(Calvin) was such a big part of my success in Detroit. The way he went about his business and treated people and his work ethic was all class. …

“I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Detroit and will always appreciate the fans.”

Stafford’s career numbers include 49,995 yards and 323 touchdowns in the regular season. Add a Super Bowl title to the resume as those statistical figures continue to grow in future seasons, and an eventual Hall of Fame induction could be on the horizon.

But taking care of business this Sunday is where Stafford’s focus lies, not on cementing any legacy.

“What I came here for was a new beginning, a new opportunity and to go out and play football for a great team,” Stafford said. “I’m sure Sunday I’m going to be as excited as I’ve ever been playing a football game, there’s no question about that, understanding the magnitude.”

–Field Level Media