Matthew Stafford

Los Angeles Rams
Quarterback #9
Los Angeles Rams
Quarterback #9
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Matthew Stafford News

Recovering from thumb surgery

Stafford underwent surgery on his right thumb in March, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Stafford emerged from last season with an array of injuries, including a partially torn UCL in that thumb, a torn UCL in his left elbow, torn rib cartilage, a sprained ankle and a left knee issue. Following his trade from the Lions to the Rams, he appears to have addressed the first concern, which was described as "elective" and "minor." With his new squad, Stafford will have reliable pass catchers at his disposal, namely Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp (knee), fellow newcomer DeSean Jackson and tight end Tyler Higbee. Through 12 NFL campaigns, the 33-year-old signal-caller has surpassed 4,000 yards eight times but only thrown for 30-plus TD on two occasions.

Apr 1, 2021 4:00 PM EST


Recovering from long list of injuries

Stafford's injuries in 2020 included a partially torn UCL in his right thumb, a torn UCL in his left elbow, torn rib cartilage, an ankle sprain and a left knee injury, Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Analysis: Stafford was removed after one series in the Week 16 loss to Tampa Bay, but he otherwise played at least 80 percent of offensive snaps in each of Detroit's games in 2020, continuing to gut it out long after the team was eliminated from the playoffs. The Lions have since agreed to trade Stafford to Los Angeles, where he'll team up with coach Sean McVay to lead an offense that has Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee and Cam Akers as its top returning playmakers. It isn't necessarily a better group of pass catchers than what Stafford is accustomed to work with, but the coaching and overall quality of the roster will be an upgrade compared to Detroit. Despite the long list of injuries, there hasn't been any report of Stafford needing offseason surgery.

Feb 11, 2021 8:33 AM EST



Traded to Rams

Stafford was traded to the Rams for Jared Goff, two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: In a blockbuster trade, the Rams sent the first overall pick from 2016 to Detroit in exchange for the first overall pick from 2009. Stafford should start immediately in Los Angeles, equipped with wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and a strong offensive line.

Jan 30, 2021 7:03 PM EST


Rams could be in the mix

The Rams have reportedly "explored the possibilities" of potentially acquiring Stafford, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Analysis: That said, the Rams still have fellow QB Jared Goff under contract, so it's unclear how their reported interest in Stafford might play out. In any case, it looks like they've join the ranks of NFL franchises who might consider making a run at making a deal for Stafford, who's in line to mutually part ways with the Lions. With that in mind, Fowler notes that "NFL teams started reaching out to the Lions about (the veteran signal caller) earlier this week."

Jan 29, 2021 3:04 PM EST


Expected to part ways with Detroit

Stafford and the Lions have mutually agreed to part ways this offseason, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Stafford expressed his desire for a fresh start, and the Lions have agreed to grant that request. In turn, the team will look for a trade partner this offseason. Stafford was impressive once again in 2020, completing 64 percent of his passes for 4,084 yards (7.7 YPA), 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The 32-year-old is a known commodity and would be a valuable addition to a contender. He has three years remaining on his contract, and he'll carry a $33 million cap hit in 2021. The Lions still have quarterbacks Chase Daniel and David Blough under contract next season, and they hold the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jan 23, 2021 3:17 PM EST



Throws three TDs in season finale

Stafford completed 20 of 31 passes for 293 yards with three touchdowns and one interception during Sunday's 37-35 loss to Minnesota. He added nine rushing yards on two attempts.

Analysis: Toughing out ankle, rib and thumb injuries, Stafford put forth an admirable effort despite a third-quarter interception that may have been the difference in the game. He probably should have had a fourth touchdown pass, but a third-quarter bomb to Marvin Jones was overturned on review and Stafford will close the books on the 2020 season with 4,093 passing yards and 26 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. However, despite those respectable numbers plus the fact that Stafford remains under contract through 2023, it's not certain that the 32-year-old gunslinger will return to Detroit next season. With the organization in the market for both a new head coach and general manager, it's possible the Lions - who owe Stafford a $10 million bonus on the fifth day of the 2021 league year - will bring in decision makers that prefer to groom a younger option. Adding more uncertainty to Stafford's offseason is his rehab from his injuries, but the quarterback at least doesn't believe he'll need surgery to address the ligament damage in his thumb, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Jan 3, 2021 2:52 PM EST


Suiting up again Sunday

Stafford (ankle/rib/thumb) is active for Sunday's game against the Vikings.

Analysis: Stafford has been limping through the stretch run of yet another lost season, but despite dealing with a trio of injuries over the past month, he's only 209 yards shy of the eighth 4,000-yard campaign of his career. On the other side, Minnesota boasts the 24th-ranked pass defense (256.9 yards per game) and will be without four starters, so Stafford has a great chance to get there, assuming he makes it through the contest unscathed.

Jan 3, 2021 8:33 AM EST


Remains on track for Sunday

Stafford (ankle/rib/thumb), who is listed as questionable, is expected to play Sunday against the Vikings, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The 32-year-old was deemed likely to play despite being listed as questionable on the injury report Friday, and his outlook remains unchanged halfway through the weekend. The Lions and Vikings have already been eliminated from the playoff picture, but Stafford still plans to gut it out for the season finale. The veteran has been banged up for much of the 2020 campaign, but he'll have started all 16 games for the ninth time in 10 years if he's cleared to start Sunday.

Jan 2, 2021 6:28 PM EST


Should be able to gut it out

Stafford (ankle/rib/thumb) appears likely to play in Sunday's game against the Vikings, Chris Burke of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Stafford was already playing through a pair of injuries when an ankle sprain knocked him out of the Week 16 loss to Tampa Bay. It seems he'll continue playing if he's physically capable, hoping to start all 16 games for a ninth time in the past 10 seasons. Listed as questionable after back-to-back limited practices, Stafford will have an excellent matchup if he does in fact play, facing a slumping Minnesota defense that has four starters ruled out for Week 17. The Lions will turn to Chase Daniel or David Blough at quarterback if Stafford is held out or doesn't finish the game.

Jan 1, 2021 3:37 PM EST


Listed as questionable

Stafford (ankle/rib/thumb) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Vikings.

Analysis: Stafford was a limited practice participant Thursday and Friday, hoping to make a 16th start despite the recent addition of an ankle sprain to his list of injuries. Interim coach Darrell Bevell said Thursday that he has "no doubt" Stafford will play, but for fantasy purposes it's probably best to treat the veteran QB as questionable ahead of Sunday's 1:00 ET kickoff. Chase Daniel and David Blough both got playing time after Stafford was knocked out of last week's 47-7 loss to the Bucs.

Jan 1, 2021 12:04 PM EST


Limited in return to practice

The Lions listed Stafford (ankle/rib/thumb) as a limited participant at Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Despite interim head coach Darrell Bevell stating prior to the session that Stafford wouldn't practice for the second day in a row, the veteran quarterback was evidently able to do more Thursday than the Lions anticipated. While Stafford is likely managing considerable pain while tending to an assortment of injuries, the 32-year-old looks like he'll attempt to do everything in his power to play Sunday against the Vikings, even with little at stake for the 5-10 Lions. For what it's worth, Bevell isn't counting out Stafford, telling Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press "there's not a doubt in mind" the signal-caller will be ready to go by the weekend.

Dec 31, 2020 12:43 PM EST


Idle for second straight practice

Stafford (ankle) won't participate in Thursday's practice, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

Analysis: After exiting early in last week's loss to the Buccaneers with a right ankle sprain, Stafford has now missed consecutive practices as the Lions prepare for Sunday's season finale versus the Vikings. Though Stafford has also battled rib and right thumb injuries in recent weeks in addition to the ankle sprain, the Lions aren't yet ruling him out from playing Sunday, despite the team having little at stake in Week 17. Backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and David Blough will continue to take reps at practice this week to stay prepared to start in the event Stafford can't gain clearance for the finale.

Dec 31, 2020 8:13 AM EST


Not practicing Wednesday

Stafford (ankle) won't practice Wednesday, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.

Analysis: Stafford has indicated that he wants to play in the Lions' season finale Sunday against the Vikings, but with the team out of playoff contention, there's no reason to push the quarterback into action this weekend. With a Wednesday practice absence on tap, Stafford now has two more chances to get back on the field before Detroit's final injury report of the the season is submitted Friday.

Dec 30, 2020 8:13 AM EST


Wants to play in finale

Stafford (ankle) hopes to suit up against the Vikings in Week 17, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.

Analysis: Stafford was forced out of Saturday's loss to the Buccaneers after suffering an ankle sprain on the first drive, and he toughed out a rib-cartilage injury and a slight ligament tear in his right thumb during the Lions' previous two games. He doesn't anticipate undergoing offseason surgery to address the injury in his thumb, per Justin Rogers of The Detroit News. Stafford is set to undergo medical evaluation Wednesday before the Lions make a call on his status for Week 17, but given Detroit and Minnesota are both eliminated from playoff contention, it could make sense to simply sit the veteran signal-caller and preserve his health for 2021.

Dec 28, 2020 2:01 PM EST


Ankle sprain not serious

The sprained ankle Stafford suffered early in Saturday's 47-7 loss to the Buccaneers, "doesn't appear too serious," Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: That said, with the Lions heading into Week 17 with a 5-10 record, Rapoport suggests that sitting the veteran QB -- who was previously dealing with rib and thumb issues -- could make sense in the team's season finale versus the Vikings. Chase Daniel and David Blough both saw action in relief of Stafford on Saturday.

Dec 27, 2020 4:49 AM EST


Not returning Saturday

Stafford (ankle) won't return to Saturday's contest against the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Stafford rolled his right ankle on the Lions' first drive of the game, adding to his recent injury woes. He played through a rib-cartilage injury and a slight ligament tear in his right thumb in the previous two games, but he still put up fair numbers, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 496 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions Weeks 14 and 15. The Lions will continue onward with Chase Daniel under center Saturday.

Dec 26, 2020 11:50 AM EST


Hits locker room early

Stafford went to the locker room during the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Buccaneers, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Stafford has been dealing with rib and thumb injuries the past few weeks, and he now appears to have added another health concern to his ledger after rolling his right ankle on the Lions' first possession of the contest. While Stafford hopped his way to the locker room, Chase Daniel took over for him under center.

Dec 26, 2020 10:28 AM EST


Suiting up Saturday

Stafford (rib/right thumb) is listed as active Saturday against the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Stafford's status was less up in the air than a week ago, but he still was questionable due to a rib-cartilage injury and slight ligament tear in his right thumb. Tampa Bay's defense has been vulnerable through the air, allowing the ninth-most passing yards per game (255.3) this season. However, Stafford again will be without his top wide receiver in Kenny Golladay (hip).

Dec 26, 2020 8:39 AM EST


Questionable for Saturday

Stafford (rib/right thumb) is listed as questionable for Saturday's game versus the Buccaneers, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

Analysis: The Lions listed Stafford as limited on all three practice reports this week, which stemmed from the quarterback dealing with a rib-cartilage injury and a slight ligament tear in the thumb of his throwing hand. Despite the aforementioned 'questionable' tag, it'd be a shock if Stafford is unable to go this weekend. In his first contest playing through both health concerns, Stafford completed 22 of 32 passes for 252 yards and one touchdown this past Sunday at Tennessee.

Dec 24, 2020 12:14 PM EST


Puts in limited practice

Stafford (rib/right thumb) was limited at Wednesday's practice, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

Analysis: Stafford toughed it out Week 15, playing all but garbage time through a rib-cartilage injury and a slight ligament tear in the thumb of his throwing hand. His numbers were respectable enough -- 22-for-32 passing for 252 yards and one touchdown -- but his practice reps will continue to be managed during the stretch run of the campaign.

Dec 23, 2020 2:57 PM EST


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