After an injury-riddled 2022 season, there were questions as to whether or not Matthew Stafford would return to the Los Angeles Rams for 2023.
Stafford has gutted out numerous injuries throughout his career, but a spinal contusion that ended his 2022 campaign early gave some the idea that he could hang it up. However, not only did Stafford commit to another season, he had a vintage year that wound up with the Rams making the Wild Card Round.
The veteran quarterback looked like his old self slinging the football, partly because head coach Sean McVay overhauled the offense to help ease his burden. However, Stafford wasn’t the only one responsible for the team’s turnaround as the young players on the roster also stepped up to fuel their run to the postseason.
According to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com, Stafford said he was invigorated playing alongside his younger teammates:
“A jolt of energy,” Stafford said. “Man, it was fun.I had a blast. It was a heck of a challenge, but I got to sit there and push guys, but also watch guys come into their own in this league and it’s not an easy thing to do. We got a lot of young guys and not only rookies, but guys who hadn’t played a lot of football, but stepped into big time roles and became huge pieces of our team and stars in our league. So proud of those guys and happy to be a part of a team that has a group of guys like that. It takes everybody, right? It takes coaches, it takes trainers, strength staff, everything, to get to these points in the season and came up a little bit short today, but really proud of those guys.”
Los Angeles’ 2023 NFL Draft class propped the squad up during the regular season, primarily led by Puka Nacua, who Stafford turned to plenty of times in the passing game. However, he also had a running mate in Kyren Williams who took advantage of a workhorse role in the backfield.
Despite the playoff loss to the Detroit Lions, the Rams look well-positioned to make another leap next season. If Stafford’s able to stay healthy, Los Angeles could be back to being a Super Bowl threat.
Matthew Stafford shares moment with Jared Goff after Rams loss to Lions
Returning to Detroit must have been an emotional moment for Stafford, so it was fun to see him and Jared Goff share a moment on the field shortly after their playoff matchup ended.