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Matthew Stafford injury update heading into Week 1

We break down news that Matthew Stafford is working through an elbow injury. What it means for Week 1 and beyond.

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning Super Bowl champions immediately benefitted when Matthew Stafford came over to lead the Los Angeles Rams last offseason. The team was hoping to get the same level of production out of him in 2022, but that might not be the case.

Even as he was leading his team to a Super Bowl win, Stafford had been dealing with a lingering elbow injury since before the 2021 postseason. He did have a procedure during the offseason, but he didn’t take a snap at all this preseason and it’s raised some concerns for Rams fans and fantasy managers alike as they kickoff the season Thursday against the Buffalo Bills.

Stafford is slated to play Thursday night and head coach Sean McVay didn’t seem to be too worried about the elbow injury. He told reporters last week that there would be no limitations on the veteran signal-caller this season. Stafford didn’t seem to have too many issues either.

“I feel great. I’m ready to go play,” Stafford said during a recent press conference. “It can always be better, kinda always try to feel like I’m 21 again. I’ll keep trying. But I feel really good, feel like I can make every throw.”

Fantasy football implications

Stafford is definitely going to be the guy for at least the first snap of the season. But if the elbow, or any other injury, causes him to go down then there are some question marks at backup. LA currently has two backup QBs on its roster, John Wolford and Bryce Perkins. Wolford was projected to be QB2, but Perkins had a solid preseason so it’s unclear who would be the next man up for McVay had to replace Stafford. Though Perkins has never thrown a pass in a real NFL game, while Wolford has some experience (23-for-42, 236 yards, no TDs and 2 INTs), albeit limited, over two NFL seasons.