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Matthew Stafford to be on a ‘pitch count’ in Rams training camp

Andrew Buller-Russ

Now Matthew Stafford knows what it’s like to be his longtime buddy, Clayton Kershaw. Though, it’s not because they’ve both won a championship in their respective sports. Just like baseball pitchers have a pitch count, apparently the Los Angeles Rams quarterback now does too.

With the Rams beginning training camp this week, local media had another chance to chat with head coach Sean McVay and of course, he was asked about Stafford’s elbow. The 34-year-old QB received an anti-inflammatory shot in his throwing elbow over the offseason after experiencing pain during last season’s Super Bowl run.

McVay noted that Stafford would be on a pitch count in training camp, while also noting the quarterback wasn’t held back from any activity during Sunday’s session.

Stafford did not throw during the team’s offseason training activities (OTAs), or during minicamp. He still took mental reps with the first-team offense, but did not fire any passes.

Rams need to be careful with Matthew Stafford

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off what was the lengthiest season of his 13-year NFL career, Matthew Stafford deserves a chance to rest up a bit following the Rams’ Super Bowl win. Not only was season the longest yet, he also set a new career-high for pass attempts with 742 including postseason play. That’s an insane amount of passes, which continues a familiar theme from the former No. 1 overall picks career so far.

Stafford enters the 2022-23 season with the 12th-most passing attempts in NFL history with 6,825 attempts. Despite entering the NFL four years after Aaron Rodgers, he’s just 293 attempts behind the four-time MVP in their careers, with postseason stats removed.

Basically, Stafford has a lot of tread on his tires (arm), and the Rams should be careful with their starting quarterback if they envision repeating as Super Bowl champs. General manager Les Snead has done a great job stacking the roster with upper-echelon talent, but it all falls apart if Stafford can’t see the field.

Behind Stafford is John Wolford, an undrafted player from the 2019 draft class. They also have Bryce Perkins on the roster. Neither player has proven anything in the NFL, and if Stafford got hurt, causing him to miss extended action, the Rams wouldn’t have a capable backup they can count on, and that’s a problem.

So it makes sense for the team to handle their QB with extreme caution, especially in training camp. While he may be on a pitch count for now, Stafford is expected to be without restraint once the regular season gets underway.

Related: NFL QB Rankings: Check our top-20 quarterbacks, where does Matt Stafford rank?