The Medical Outlook series features Dr. Jene Bramel covering higher-level players with medical concerns going into the season. You'll get a rundown on players' statuses and the bottom line on whether you should target them in your drafts.
- Matthew Stafford continues to experience soreness in his throwing elbow
- The Rams are limiting Stafford's throwing reps but have cleared him to make a variety of throws in team drills
- Missed practice time and grip strength issues leading to inconsistent play are possible
- This is likely a manageable condition, and missed time during the regular season is unlikely
What's wrong with Stafford's elbow?
Stafford has battled elbow pain since late last season and has yet to fully recover despite multiple injections to address his discomfort. But no specific diagnosis is known.
Reports include a mix of vague symptoms. Stafford and Sean McVay referred to the condition as “irritating” and “unusual for a quarterback” and “not one of those things that the more I throw the worse it gets.” Ian Rapoport tweeted a diagnosis of “thrower’s elbow” – which isn’t specific and could describe a handful of different diagnoses.
The most likely diagnosis is some form of tendinitis – an ongoing case of inflammation where one of the muscles in the forearm attaches near the elbow joint.
Camp reports are reassuring
Stafford did not throw in May or June, and the Rams continue to limit his throwing sessions in training camp after injections did not solve the irritation. That’s led to concern Stafford is at risk of missed time during the regular season.
But practice video shows Stafford in team drills wearing pads and throwing various routes at all distances. That’s not something the medical staff would clear him to do with a condition at high risk of aggravation.
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