The 2022 NFL season was doomed from the start for the Los Angeles Rams as quarterback Matthew Stafford was dealing with an elbow injury that did not allow him to throw all offseason.
Stafford was unable to build chemistry with his wide outs, and the results early in the season showed that as the offense really struggled.
Injuries then set in on the offensive line before Stafford himself got shut down for the season due to a head/neck issue, resulting in a 5-12 season for the Rams.
Reports stated that Stafford contemplated retirement this offseason, although all indications from him are that was never the case and he was always planning on coming back for the 2023 season. Reports have also said that Stafford is feeling healthy, and he confirmed that when he spoke to the media this week, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Obviously going to do everything I can to try to be as healthy as I can at all times,” Stafford said. “Probably not a human JUGS machine like I used to be, but I can still get it out there and throw it around a bunch. So it’ll be a process as it always is to try and stay as healthy as you possibly can at all times, but I definitely feel like I can go out there and compete and do everything I want to do, which is fun and exciting for me.”
Stafford added that he is excited to be able to throw and work with his teammates during the offseason program since he is feeling healthy:
“All I know is that I’ve put a lot of work and time into trying to feel as good as I can for right now,” Stafford said. “I do feel about as good I can for right now, and it’s exciting for me. It was a lot of hard work, some tough times, and just excited to be where I am right now.”
The Rams haven’t made many additions this offseason, so Stafford’s targets in 2023 will be a similar group from 2022 that includes Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek. Allen Robinson will not be around with him heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers via trade.
That can be a formidable group though if they and the offensive line can stay healthy, which is obviously a big if coming off an injury-plagued 2022 season.
Stafford seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder considering how many people are counting him and the Rams out in 2023, so it will be fun to see how they respond after hopefully an offseason full of chemistry-building.