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What’s wrong with Matthew Stafford? Rams QB playing through a variety of injuries on ‘Monday Night Football’



Matthew Stafford hasn’t been listed on the Rams’ official injury report since Week 9, but the Los Angeles quarterback is certainly banged up.

Stafford has dealt with a variety of nagging injuries during his first season with the Rams. To date, none of the injuries have kept him from playing, but they have impacted him, especially a back injury that cropped up around the midpoint of the season.

These injuries have hindered Stafford and have played into the Rams’ recent decline. Since his most recent appearance on the injury list, the Rams have gone 1-3 and endured a three-game losing streak, the longest of coach Sean McVay’s career. Their lone victory came against the Jaguars.

Will Stafford get fully healthy this season? And what exactly is bothering him? Here’s a look at the latest injury news surrounding Stafford and his pre- and post-injury splits.

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Matthew Stafford injury update

Stafford has dealt with a plethora of injuries during the season. Before the Rams’ Week 12 game against the Packers, ESPN’s Dianna Russiniย reported that Stafford was dealing with “pain” in the following areas:

  • His throwing shoulder
  • His elbow
  • His ankle
  • His back

Russini described Stafford’s back pain as “chronic,” which makes sense. Back injuries tend to linger, so if Stafford is dealing with a problem there, that will likely be a season-long issue.

It’s worth noting that Stafford has dealt with back problems before.ย Heย missed half of the 2019 NFL season while dealing with several broken bones in his back.

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Stafford also has dealt with a finger injury during the 2021 NFL season, as he had his hand evaluatedย during the Rams’ 26-17 win over the Seahawks in Week 5. That proved not to be major โ€”ย he didn’t miss practice as a result of it since it occurred on “Thursday Night Football” โ€”ย but it can’t have helped as part of the laundry list of injuries he has dealt with this year.

Despite these maladies, Stafford has appeared on the injury report just once in Week 9 due to the back injury. He has practiced in full capacity in every other session, so those smaller, nagging injuries that Russini described don’t appear to be a big deal for Stafford.

That said, despite his healthy appearance, it’s clear that Stafford has declined since first dealing with that back problem.

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Matthew Stafford stats: Pre- and post-injury

Stafford started the year on a hot streak and looked like a legitimate MVP candidate for the Rams. However, since he landed on the injury report with the “chronic” back pain in Week 9,ย  he has regressed, and so too have the Rams.

Here’s a look at Stafford’s pre-game statistical splits since his lone appearance on the injury report this season.

Period Games Record Completion % Passing yards Pass TDs INTs
Before Week 9 8 7-1 68.9 309.6 2.8 0.5
Week 9 and beyond 4 1-3 63 283.5 2 1.3

Stafford’s step back may not be entirely related to his injuries. After all, the Rams did lose Robert Woods and add Odell Beckham Jr. to the fold, so that has been an adjustment for him. But still, it can’t be ruled out.

And as such, his health will come into question if he continues to struggle against the Cardinals on “Monday Night Football.”



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