Matthew Stafford’s elbow to face 60-snap test in Rams scrimmage

Matthew Stafford and an elbow problem that has plagued him since last season will be tested again on Tuesday when the Rams meet for the first time.

The Rams’ veteran quarterback and other starters and key players won’t be playing in the preseason games, so the scrimmage at Thousand Oaks should give the Rams another clue while Stafford is going through tendonitis while preparing for the Sept. 8 opener against preparing the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium.

Coach Sean McVay said Stafford was a full participant in Monday’s practice, which closed to reporters after 20 minutes. Stafford will be a full participant on Tuesday if the first-team offense completes more than 60 games, McVay said.

“We’re really going to ramp him up,” McVay said, “and that’s how he’s going to go days in a row.”

Stafford will be tested again next week when the Rams travel to Cincinnati for two joint practices with the Bengals before the final game of the preseason.

Stafford endured numerous injuries during his 13-year NFL career. But the Rams have proceeded with caution — and apprehension — as they seek to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since 2004.

The condition of Stafford’s arm has been a concern since last season, when he had 41 touchdowns and led the Rams to a win over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is on the sidelines in Saturday's preseason win over the Chargers.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is on the sidelines in Saturday’s preseason win over the Chargers.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Stafford, the recipient of an extension that includes $120 million in guarantees, had a postseason injection in his elbow and didn’t throw any passes during practice and offseason minicamp. He was throwing passes early in training camp at UC Irvine – and appeared to be in midseason form. His workload was reduced in the latter part of camp, but he participated in full-team drills on the final day of last week.

McVay has described Stafford’s problem as “abnormal for a quarterback.”

Stafford said he’s “not too concerned about what it’s called or if it’s abnormal” and that his focus is on progression and improvement.

Stafford isn’t the only starter working through injury.

Running backs Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson did not train Monday because of what McVay described as “soft tissue injuries.” Neither Akers nor Henderson, who have both completed agility drills with coaches, will be in a game until opener. Their status for joint practices with the Bengals will be determined next week.

“We want them to be able to get back to performing where they can be at full speed,” McVay said of Akers and Henderson. “It’s not like his 50%. We have to be able to run back.”

Akers sat out most of last season with an Achilles tendon injury. He returned for the season finale and played in the playoffs and Super Bowl. But Akers said he wasn’t happy with his performance and was looking forward to demonstrating skills McVay had planned for 2021.

Henderson’s durability has been an issue in each of his first three seasons.

Brown hurt

Defensive tackle Bobby Brown suffered a sprained ankle in the Rams’ 29-22 win over the Chargers last season and will be out for a few weeks, McVay said.

Brown is suspended for the first six games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Players are typically forbidden from being on-site while serving suspensions, but if Brown is still rehabilitating his injury earlier in the season, McVay said he would be able to receive on-site treatment from the team’s medical staff too to let. Matthew Stafford’s elbow to face 60-snap test in Rams scrimmage

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