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Adding historical context to the potential Matthew Stafford injury

The Rams are no stranger to preseason quarterback injuries

St Louis Rams v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s too early and not enough is yet known for fan of the Los Angeles Rams to lose sleep over quarterback Matthew Stafford’s reported injury during Monday’s training camp practice. While it’s certainly uncomfortable territory, the Rams have previously navigated preseason injuries to quarterbacks. In some instances the results have been catastrophic, but another had an ending fit for Hollywood.

Trent Green Injures Knee, Replaced by Unknown Kurt Warner

The year is 1999 and the Rams have just signed prized free agent quarterback Trent Green from Washington. Green was supposedly the missing piece to an offense that featured running back Marshall Faulk, receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, and offensive tackle Orlando Pace. In the third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, safety Rodney Harrison blew by Faulk, who had held out during training camp, and hit Green from behind. The quarterback was carted off the field and did not return that season.

Awaiting in the wings was future hall of famer Kurt Warner, who until that time had only marked significant playing time in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League. Warner led the Rams offense to a historical season statistically, earning the title of the “Greatest Show on Turf”. The prolific passer was also named the 2000 Super Bowl MVP in the team’s victory over the Tennessee Titans.

What are the similarities of the Stafford injury to the 2000 world champions? Both teams had prized quarterbacks entering their first season with the teams, and reserve passers John Wolford and Warner donned number 13.

Super Bowl XXXIV - St. Louis Rams v Tennesee Titans

Marc Bulger Fractures Finger in 2009

St. Louis Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In Steve Spagnuolo’s first preseason game as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, Marc Bulger is sacked three times before a routine exchange from center Jason Brown snapped the passer’s pinky finger. Brown was the Rams most significant free agent signing heading into the 2009 season.

Bulger’s backup was Kyle Boller, a veteran that had spent time with the Baltimore Ravens prior. In a promising tale for Rams fans, Bulger was able to start Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. The quarterback finished the game 17 of 36 for 191 yards in a 28-0 rout by the division rivals. The leading receiver was Laurent Robinson, who recorded five receptions for 87 yards.

Sam Bradford Tears ACL Against Cleveland

The St. Louis Rams lost the former number one overall pick Sam Bradford for the remainder of the season seven games into the 2013 season, after Mike Mitchell pushed the promising signal caller out of bounds in Carolina. Lightning struck twice the following preseason when Bradford was unable to finish the first quarter of the team’s third exhibition game.

Veteran Shaun Hill, formerly of the Detroit Lions, replaced Bradford that season. The team finished 6-10 and last place in the NFC West in Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s second campaign. The following season St. Louis traded Bradford to Philadelphia in exchange for Nick Foles.

St. Louis Rams v Cleveland Browns Set Number: X84642 TK1 R1 F847

The 2021 Rams will write their own path, but the team has seen its fair share of preseason quarterback injuries in the past. For now, Sean McVay thinks Stafford “will be OK” per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. With the team opening September 12th against the Chicago Bears, the veteran has time to mend.


How concerned are you with the Matthew Stafford thumb injury?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    No concern - Full confidence in the quarterback’s health
    (209 votes)
  • 39%
    Slight concern - He might miss some/most of training camp, but will be ready for week 1
    (191 votes)
  • 9%
    Concerned - Stafford may miss the season opener and beyond
    (47 votes)
  • 7%
    This could be catastrophic
    (36 votes)
483 votes total Vote Now