Reports out of the Rams training camp are that quarterback Matthew Stafford is dealing with "elbow discomfort." Head coach Sean McVay said at a press conference that the 34-year-old will not be participating in team drills. Of the reports out there, one noted that McVay "declined to call it a setback."
“This is part of the plan that we feel like is in his best interest,” McVay said. “So it’s a great opportunity for John Wolford and Bryce [Perkins] to be able to get a lot more reps than they would otherwise. Matthew’s going to stay engaged and that’s the plan that we think is best right now.”
The first thing I think of when I think of Stafford, besides this most recent season, was when he was mic'd up by the NFL and played through a separated shoulder in his rookie 2009 season to lead the Lions to a game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds. So in my mind, he can play through this because he's tough. He's a wild card, a gunslinger. But reality may not be so kind.
Could this injury be something serious? Of course.
“He wants to be out there and do everything,” McVay said, “but that’s where you got to say, ‘All right, let’s really take a step back. What do we think is the best way to follow our own advice and be as healthy as we can and ready to go for September 8?’ That was really what I thought would be best."
The team is taking precautions for a reason. Stafford also did not throw during the offseason. Should you allow this to alter your fantasy opinion of Stafford and the Rams playmakers? No, not yet.
Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson and Cam Akers are all fantasy starters. Darrell Henderson and Tyler Higbee are depth options. All that holds until something more definitive and explanative comes out to give this all context. You know in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy shows up in the Emerald City and they give everyone a makeover before they see the Wizard? That's how I envision it the rehab process going.
For now, and until we know more specifics, I don't mind drafting Stafford at his ADP 88 (QB12). I have seen Kupp go as high as third in some PPR drafts and while you want more certainty from your first-round pick, I'm thrilled if he's there around pick No. 5. We just have to wait and see how this news develops into the preseason.
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