Matthew Stafford has more arm pain. Van Jefferson needs knee surgery

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford gestures during an NFL football practice Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Matthew Stafford may be signaling “well done,” but the Rams quarterback is still feeling pain in that arm. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Wide receiver Van Jefferson isn’t the only member of the Rams passing offense with a fitness concern.

Add quarterback Matthew Stafford to the list.

Jefferson will undergo knee surgery on Tuesday, putting his status for the Sept. 8 opener against the Buffalo Bills “up in the air,” and the Rams have taken steps to ensure Stafford is ready to play in that game without to have pain in his right arm. , coach Sean McVay said Monday.

Stafford played with a sore arm while leading the Rams to a Super Bowl title and received an injection in his elbow during the offseason. He didn’t throw passes during organized team activity practices, but participated fully in training camp practices.

On Saturday, Stafford was asked how his arm felt and if he should be doing anything different to manage it between practices.

“It’s coming,” he said. “I’m kind of right where I want to be and I just keep getting better. Get stronger.

“As far as things being different, putting this thing together every year is a little different,” he said, running his hands in front of his body. “Well, yes, there are different challenges. We go from there.”

On Monday, Stafford participated in individual drills but did not participate in full-squad drills. McVay said Stafford’s workload will be “reduced” during the weeks leading up to kickoff because he continues to feel discomfort.

“He’s still feeling some pain,” McVay said. “He could get over it. … We felt the smart thing was to take it one week at a time. … The most important thing is that he feels good and healthy on September 8.

“Sure we could push, and he could really overcome that, but that’s not the goal with someone like him. It’s not something we’re concerned about, but we just want to be very smart with someone as important as a quarterback.”

Jefferson had surgery on his left knee in the weeks following their Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He did not participate in drills during organized team activities, but made several impressive catches in the first week of training camp before sitting out Saturday.

Tuesday’s procedure will be on the same knee for what McVay described as a “minor change to the knee” unrelated to last season’s issue.

“It’s the same knee, but it’s a little different area,” McVay said. “And it’s a small thing that we’ll be able to clean up.

“So we’re encouraged.”

Jefferson’s absence plunges one of the NFL’s potentially most potent receiving corps into a series of question marks as the Rams prepare for the Bills, who are considered Super Bowl contenders.

Cooper Kupp, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and new addition Allen Robinson give McVay and Stafford two elite targets.

But losing Jefferson could cut deep.

Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson stretches to catch a pass in Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals on February 13.

Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson stretches to catch a pass in Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals on February 13. Jefferson’s availability for the season opener against Buffalo is “up in the air.” (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

The third pro last season caught 50 passes, six for touchdowns. He also showed a knack for the deep game and averaged 16 yards per catch.

Second-year pros Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell are in line to replace Jefferson.

Skowronek, a seventh-round draft pick, caught 11 passes for 133 yards last season. He can play multiple receiver positions and also excels on special teams.

Atwell, a second-round pick, is trying to bounce back from a disappointing rookie season. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Atwell appeared overmatched and couldn’t find a role as a receiver. He returned kicks for eight games until suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

During the offseason, Atwell sought guidance from Kupp and worked closely with the All-Pro to improve and gain strength. He did a lot of work on Monday.

McVay also continues to openly court free agent Odell Beckham Jr. to re-sign with the Rams.

Last season, Beckham signed with the Rams after the trade deadline and helped them make their Super Bowl run. He injured his knee in the second quarter of the Super Bowl and is recovering from surgery.

Beckham isn’t expected to be ready to play until midseason.

But after McVay listed the receivers on the roster who could benefit from increased opportunities, he couldn’t help but add an answer.

“And then we’ll continue to see if we can continue to work out when Odell will come back at some point as well,” he said.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.