HomeSportsFormer NFL Doctor Fears Matthew Stafford’s Career Is in Jeopardy After Latest Injury

Former NFL Doctor Fears Matthew Stafford’s Career Is in Jeopardy After Latest Injury

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is likely out for the remainder of the season with a spinal cord contusion.

One former NFL doctor, however, believes Stafford could be out even longer. Dr. David Chao, who served as the head team physician for the San Diego Chargers from 1997-2013, recently said that Stafford will have to undergo surgery this offseason or consider retiring from the league.

“It seems Matthew Stafford and his family will have a choice this offseason,” Chao said on Sports Injury Central. “Either do something to correct the risk of further spinal cord contusion and potential permanent damage, usually with a neck surgery, fusion surgery, decompression surgery of some kind, which you can return to play. Or you can decide to hang it up after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl ring.”

Stafford, 34, arrived in Los Angeles ahead of the 2021 season after being traded by the Detroit Lions. In his first season with the Rams, he led the team to a Super Bowl championship — the franchise’s first since 2000. The 2022 season has been the dreaded Super Bowl hangover, with injuries to key stars — including Stafford — piling up. In nine games this season, Stafford completed 68% of his passes and threw for 2,087 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Rams Find Matthew Stafford Replacement

With the duo of John Wolford and Bryce Perkins a combined 0-3 in Stafford’s absence, the Rams and head coach Sean McVay looked elsewhere. Los Angeles claimed Baker Mayfield off waivers this week following his release from the Carolina Panthers. Despite being in the building for just two days, Mayfield played in the 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders Thursday.

Mayfield remarkably led the Rams on a 98-yard scoring drive with under two minutes remaining to give his team the victory.

“I don’t know if you could write it any better than that,” Mayfield said after the game, via ESPN. “Obviously, we’d like to be a little bit more stress-free, but it’s a pretty damn good story, I’ll be honest with you.”