The Los Angeles Rams endured rotten injury luck during the 2022 season that truly prevented them from defending their Super Bowl title.
The Rams lost both Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald to high ankle sprains, but they also saw Matthew Stafford deal with multiple ailments. Stafford was unable to stay healthy during the year and was eventually placed on season-ending IR with a neck injury.
Even when available, the signal caller largely struggled as the offensive line’s play deteriorated after seeing multiple pieces either leave in the offseason or get hurt throughout the year. Stafford appeared in only nine games, throwing for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He had already been dealing with an elbow issue the team had to manage in the offseason, so perhaps that was a factor in the lack of production.
After an injury-riddled season, there were some rumors that Stafford could look to retire despite just getting to Los Angeles. However, in an appearance on his wife’s podcast “The Morning After with Kelly Stafford” the quarterback immediately said no when asked directly about the possibility of retiring, via Holden Cantor:
Here it is from Matthew himself on retirement: pic.twitter.com/S3hUsHlArR
— HoldenCantor (@HoldenCantor) December 20, 2022
Retirement never seemed like a probable choice for Stafford, who is 34 years old and signed a three-year, $129 million extension in the offseason that ties him to the Rams through the 2026 season. The core of the roster is in place for the foreseeable future, and it’s hard to imagine the quarterback ever calling it quits before that group has had its run.
While it’s not the season anyone in the organization hoped for, L.A. is well-positioned to compete in the playoffs so long as Stafford remains under center. He has certainly had his issues with turnovers and the like, but there’s no denying his arm talent and ability to control the offense. With head coach Sean McVay also around for the next few years, the Rams have to feel optimistic that they’ll be back to competing sooner rather than later.
It’s good news to officially hear from Stafford himself that he plans on returning for the 2023 season, but in the meantime, fans will have to endure the last few weeks of a season that’s been marred by injuries and inconsistent play in all three phases of the game. There aren’t many positives to take away, but at least McVay and his coaching staff can use these final games to evaluate the younger pieces on the roster and see who will be joining Stafford next year.