Matthew Stafford has said publicly that he has not considered retirement, but there are apparently some people who are not convinced he will be back on the field next season.
Stafford dealt with a shoulder injury last offseason. His reps were carefully managed during training camp and the preseason, and he never seemed right once the year began.
The Rams eventually shut Stafford down for the final eight games of the season after he suffered a neck injury and landed in concussion protocol on two separate occasions. Matthew Berry of NBC Sports asked around about Stafford at the NFL Scouting Combine last week.
One source told him that the 35-year-old “could barely throw last year” and that “retirement is still not out of the question.”
Stafford has a reputation for being one of the toughest players in the NFL. He has missed very little time during his 14-year career despite dealing with numerous significant injuries.
His most recent injury had to do with his spinal cord, and at least one doctor wondered if it could be career-threatening. After he had an MVP-caliber season and led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl win in 2021, Stafford was ineffective through nine games last year. He threw for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Rams had some glaring issues on offense, but Stafford’s health certainly seemed like a factor. That is something that will be worth monitoring in the coming weeks.