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Sean McVay deals with walking wounded status as training camp looms

By Venie Randy Soares | Turf Show Times

Now that the Los Angeles Rams have announced the start of training camp, the countdown to defending their Lombardi Trophy has officially begun. Because LA played the longest season in NFL history at 21 weeks, Sean McVay cut down the the Rams offseason official team activities (OTAs) period from nine weeks to eight.

As well as the long season, McVay cited the lack of recovery time for the Rams spate of late-season injuries and post season surgeries as the reason to work “above the neck” in OTAs. LA’s injury list is long and filled with contributors, both big names and role players. The six-week break between OTAs and training camp will huge for the Rams to rehab and condition these injured players.

Quarterback

Matt Stafford

Being nicked up is nothing new for Stafford. Fans were dismayed last season when the strong-armed gunslinger under threw open receivers, but it came out after the season that he wasn’t completely healed from a 2020 injury. He had an anti-inflammatory injection after the Super Bowl win and did not throw during OTAs to let his elbow rehab.

In his long career, he has battled toe and ankle, shoulder, knee, back, ribs and numerous hand and finger injuries. Even with all the various ailments, Stafford has only missed eight games (all in 2019) in the last 11 years.

Running back

Cam Akers

A torn Achilles tendon used to be the death knell for NFL players, but cutting-edge surgical procedures, new protocols for treatment and a young man’s bust-ass work ethic has put Akers in position to resume his career. He tore his heel last July and returned for the Rams final game of the season.

In the playoffs, his stats were modest, but he looked to run with power and burst. The Rams playoffs and Super Bowl run game, overall, was lacking pop. Akers has had extra rehab time and his progress/recovery will need scrutiny through training camp.

Darrell Henderson

Where to begin? Hendo has been working lightly this during OTAs due to a recurring soft tissue injury, but there’s a laundry list of past injuries. Elbow and thumb problems, ankle and knee sprains, separated rib cartilage, and the soft tissue thigh/hamstring tribulations.

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And all the others

It’s not breaking news that all the Rams backs have had injury woes. Kyren Williams has already broken his foot in OTAs. Jake Funk has the oft-mentioned two knee injuries from college and missed games as a rookie with a hamstring tweak. Raymond Calais, LA’s true speed back and possible kick returner, suffered a broken foot that required surgery last preseason and spent the season on the Injured Reserve List (IR). Xavier Jones also spent the season on IR with Achilles tendon surgery.

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