Matthew Stafford: Performance-Hindering Elbow Injury, Or On-the-Mend Annoyance?

Stafford

Based on the irritated response supplied by the Super-Bowl winning QB when questioned, he’d like you to believe the latter about the tendonitis in his elbow. Predictable stance. No player wants their weakness advertised to behemoth league lineman gunning for their takedown every Sunday.

However, current point spreads are showing decreased faith in the current reigning champs, possibly due to Stafford himself.

History of Resilience

Injuries are nothing new for Matthew Stafford. He has been plagued with what seem to be more than his fair share, dating back to the 2010 shoulder joint separation he suffered fresh into his NFL career. This was followed by torn hand ligaments, a knee patella dislocation, fractures to his finger and tailbone, and a plethora of sprains and pulls over the years scattered throughout his anatomy.

His health was a constant concern for Detroit during his tenure there, but he always overcame physical setbacks. Notably, he even played games with the fractured finger, and again with the torn thumb ligament.

Perhaps what makes this current injury so concerning, is that the tendinitis is affecting his throwing elbow. Fueling concern,Sean McVay called the pain Stafford was enduring “abnormal” for a quarterback-phrasing that hints at ominous implications.

Maybe there is also the fear that the hunger for a championship, so palpable after toiling over decade at the frustrating franchise that is the Lions, is no longer present to pull him through. He is, after all, finally the owner of some pretty impressive digit bling. Is the carrot dangled to keep him pushing through discomfort as enticing, now that 20 carats adorn his hand?

Underdogging it to Buffalo

Whatever the difference, the point spread for LA’s opening home game against the Bills, started with Buffalo at 1pt to 2pt favorites on many betting platforms. Others still technically give the Rams a slight lead-ranging from .5-1pt. Considering it is typical to give the team with home field advantage a three point edge, this still shows solid belief that the Bills are the dominant team, if only slightly.

Granted there is the loss of Odell Beckham and Robert Woods on LA’s side, however you would think being the defending Super Bowl champs would leverage a little more favoritism than what is being expressed. Especially as LA showed out as a strong team consistently through the 2021-2022 season. Their ultimate victory was not a Cinderella Story, but a predictable possibility contemplated from the beginning.

Not to mention the slide deeper into Buffalo’s favoritism seemed to coincide time wise with chatter of the injury.

Stafford says it’s safe to bet on him

With still a month to go before kick-off, Stafford maintains that all the scrutiny is blown out of proportion. He is quoted by NFL.com saying that he can still complete any pass he wants to, and implies that fact would have been clear to anyone watching Saturday’s practice.

This development is something to keep an eye on, it could feasibly go either way. He seems to already be on the mend, and has a track record of coming back strong from injuries. On the other hand, he is getting older, and eventually something will be the tipping point. Also with the placement of this injury being a joint that he is going to have to use repetitively every game, the vulnerability to re-injury is higher than many other maladies he has battled back from.

Right now, only time will tell.

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