2022 Rams Training Camp Update: Stafford’s Elbow And Good News

Stafford is irritated about his irritated elbow. Jalen is on the field. Two young players battle. And more Brandon Powell news at Rams Training Camp

Ryan Anderson
Tutu Atwell and Derion Kendrick Battle At Rams Training Camp Photo Credit Gabby Hutter | LA Rams
Tutu Atwell and Derion Kendrick Battle At Rams Training Camp Photo Credit Gabby Hutter | LA Rams

The biggest update about Matthew Stafford was that he did some actual throwing of the ball. McVay said he could “sleep better” after today’s Rams training camp and included that Stafford threw ‘it all around the yard’ and he continues to insist that Stafford is on track with the team’s plan. Stafford didn’t helm the first team through the whole day. John Wolford ran the first-team offense during the 11-on-11s. A part of the team’s plan is to manage Stafford’s workload with what is essentially a pitch count.

Both McVay and Stafford answered questions about the ongoing elbow “irritation” as Stafford called it after Friday’s Rams training camp. Both thought that Stafford’s performance on Friday would have tamped down interest in the right elbow. Stafford said he felt good and thought he looked good. Stafford didn’t seem to be in any discomfort and his throwing was not affected. Stafford threw around 40 passes for multiple distances and arm angles. All of which did look very good. Stafford connected with a receiver for a 30-yard throw while running bootleg drills that create off-platform throws. By all measures, the pass was excellent.

Stafford said in his presser that he was going through ‘something irritating.’ He was referring to his elbow, but, by the tone of his answers, he could have been talking about the presser itself. Stafford feels that all the coverage has turned a small problem into a much larger story.

This is probably the case, but the cryptic language and overall murkiness surrounding the injury begs several questions. Most of those questions haven’t been answered. Such as, what exactly is wrong with the most important elbow at Rams training camp? Neither McVay nor Stafford seems terribly interested in answering that question and there is a chance they don’t exactly know. So the bottom line is we won’t know until they want to tell us. McVay’s timetable was ‘another week or two.’

To me the most important thing said about the injury is what Sean McVay said of it, “Could (Stafford) push through (the pain)? Yes. Is that the best thing? We didn’t think so.”

What that means is that they are operating with an abundance of caution to limit the chance that Stafford will have to grit it through the 2022 season.

Rams Training Camp Update: Ramsey Sighting

Friday was Jalen Ramsey’s first day working on the field after working strictly on the sidelines of Rams training camp after shoulder surgery. They have been projecting him to be ready for the home opener against the Bills. Today was a great sign that he is on track with his rehab, this is corroborated by McVay in his post-practice press conference.

Rams Training Camp Update: More Brandon Powell

I know I have been beating the Brandon Powell drum all Rams training camp and the reason is that he simply continues to build a case for himself day after day. He does the hard stuff, like run blocking. And it is no easy task at 5’8” 180 Lbs. But he grades the road to the best of his ability and is ready and willing to do so. He also has been doing the exciting stuff, like catching contested catches and running 30-yard touchdowns.

I imagine the Rams will further test his mettle in the upcoming preseason games. He has been logging the hours on offense and continues to hone his return specialist skills. I will refrain from becoming too much of a hype machine for Powell until he proves it against someone gunning for him.

Rams Training Camp Update: DK vs. Tutu

The Rams pitted Derion Kendrick and Tutu Atwell against each other today. It was a classic battle between two guys that have had fantastic camps. They went toe to toe all day. Kendrick came out ahead against Atwell in a blow-to-blow bout. But on one play Atwell bested Kendrick. Wolford was able to get plenty of air under the ball and it became an out-and-out track meet. Atwell prevailed with a 50-yard catch and run touchdown.

But in the two previous plays, Kendrick’s physicality won the matchup. One was a fly route to the back of the end zone. Kendrick used his body to force Atwell to the sideline. In his NFL Network Mic’d up video, Sean McVay told Kendrick that one of his ‘elite traits’ was his ability to ‘bump.’ That was on full display. The other was a drag route. Kendrick came over Atwell’s back to swat the ball out of his grasp.

Nick Scott singled out Kendrick as a rookie that will most likely play a role on the 2022 Rams defense. “He’s a guy that you know right away, his energy has been infectious. He’s had an impact on this defense, Scott said of Kendrick, “Just with his excitability and his ability at corner. So you know whatever his role is on his team you know he’ll approach it wholeheartedly and I’m excited to see what he can do week one.”

Shocking conclusions are hard to draw in this matchup. Atwell is listed at 5’9” 165. My guess would be Atwell ate a burrito, was soaking wet, and had ice skates on when these measurements were taken. Kendrick is bigger, 6’0” 190. Atwell will struggle with big physical corners. That said, if he continues to show that he can translate his straight-line speed and just get to spots faster, he can carve out a spot for himself on the roster.

Atwell has been getting a lot more reps at Rams training camp with Van Jefferson off the field rehabbing after minor surgery. He knows he has to use this time to show what he can offer on offense.

“I can do it all, man, I just have to gain that trust,” Atwell said. “I’m working on gaining that trust and showing the coaches that I could do a little bit of everything, so I can have that to show them.”

Both Wolford and Stafford connected with Atwell on 50+ yard touchdowns over the last two days at Rams training camp.

Rams Training Camp Update: Ben Skowronek

Ben Skowronek has also seen an increase in playing time with the first team as a result of Jefferson’s time away. He has also made his case for the starting number three receiver. Skowronek has made several impressive catches and has become a preferred target in 7s and 11s.

Tutu Atwell and Derion Kendrick Battle At Rams Training Camp Photo Credit Gabby Hutter | LA Rams
Tutu Atwell and Derion Kendrick Battle At Rams Training Camp Photo Credit Gabby Hutter | LA Rams