Defender problem Matthew StaffordElbow discomfort continues to be a pain in the Rams’ training camp, even as coach Sean McVeigh tries to talk about the situation with a glass half full.
On Wednesday, McVeigh explained at the start of a press conference that Stafford would not participate in team practice for the time being.
“It’s part of a plan that we think is in his best interest,” McVeigh said. “So this is a great opportunity for John Woolford and Bryce [Perkins] to be able to get a lot more reps than they could otherwise. Matthew is going to keep practicing and this is the plan we think is the best right now.”
McVeigh declined to call it a failure. But what could be anything but bad luck if the defending Super Bowl champion’s starting guard doesn’t participate in team training at training camp?
“It’s consistent with what’s going on,” McVeigh said. “It’s just more when you really look at it as a whole, want to try to make sure he operates on as little pain as possible. I think every time you play as long and as badass as him, I don’t know if you ever really get out of pain, but the goal will be September 8th and really count on 17 games and then, hopefully for a few games after. what if we earn this opportunity. This is the kind of perspective and general approach that we want to take. I don’t know if I would feel as comfortable taking this approach if it weren’t for the experience he has gained and the knowledge of how deliberately he tries to keep up with the mental and physical work he can do in his absence. some things in the team settings.
How concerned is McVeigh that this problem will continue into the regular season?
“You could [have that concern]”, McVeigh said. “I think it’s one of those things that we talk about, ‘Hey, all we can do is what we can control’. We think that’s kind of the best approach, which we can use. Is there a possibility that such a conversation will take place? Of course. But based on the medical experts and the plan of the conversation with Matthew, this is what we think is the best. I am optimistic that this will give us the best chance that he felt the best he could. Would you say, “Hey, you wish he had no problems, he was here, playing and getting all these reps. Sure. But this is what we consider the best. This is one of the those deals where you’re kind of taking your own advice, “hey, let’s just be right here in the moment, take your time” and I thought we got better as a team today and we’re getting some encouraging stuff. I think you want to be careful to say “OK, it’s only been a couple of days”, but I think that for with being able to really give it a week, two weeks, that’s where you give enough time to really see… “Okay, this is a new plan that we’ve implemented to get the results we’re looking for.” I think everyone is happy with it and that’s our plan for the next couple of weeks.”
McVeigh said he “doesn’t think” there was a scenario in which Stafford would miss all team events until the week of pre-game play against the Bills began.
“What we’ve actually said right now is that we’re really going to take it over for the next few weeks, actually until we get out of here because we have this four day block and then three more days before you end up returning to [Cal Lutheran]”So we’ve taken an approach that we’ll revisit once we get to the first preseason game and then see where we’re at and I’ll have relevant updates for you guys.”
Obviously, Stafford would prefer it not to be so.
“He wants to be there and do everything,” McVeigh said, “but this is where you have to say, ‘Okay, let’s really take a step back. What do we think is the best way to follow our own advice and be as healthy and ready as possible for September 8th?” It was really what I thought would be better as a competitor. He will always want to stay here, be with his teammates. But he is so deliberate in his approach that you feel good about it. This is the situation we are in, so we will deal with it the best we can.”
bottom line? Stafford’s elbow, which kept him from throwing at all in the offseason, is still a problem. For now, they’re trying to find a way to get him ready for work without making things worse. It remains to be seen if this approach will prepare him properly and if the limited workload will exacerbate the situation.
Either way, this is definitely something the Rams should keep an eye on. The road back to the Super Bowl becomes a lot harder if Stafford can’t shoot the way he’d like, or if he ultimately can’t play at all.