Rams review: Matthew Stafford has no plans to retire, eager for next season

The Rams had a drama-filled overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday to conclude their 2022 season, but the spotlight quickly turned to Sean McVay’s uncertain future and what that means for his star players, including quarterback Matthew Stafford. Here’s what we learned, what we heard and what comes next after the Rams finished their disappointing season with a 5-12 record:


Stafford said he has no plans to retire and he’s itching to play for the 2023 season.

Stafford, 34, told reporters during his exit interview that he feels healthy after suffering a season-ending neck injury in Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints. Stafford, who only played in nine games this past season, also sustained a concussion in Week 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Heading into the offseason, I got a chance to be pretty darn healthy,” Stafford said. “Continue to try to feel as good as I can feel and get ready to go again next year.”

Stafford said he never seriously considered retirement, but he added that he had a family discussion about that possibility because of the severity of the injuries he sustained in 2022. Stafford felt numbness in his legs after taking a sack against the Saints, two weeks after sustaining the concussion. He was later diagnosed with a spinal cord contusion and was shut down for the season.

“I got a family, I got kids, I got a wife, and, obviously, they’re very, very important to me,” Stafford said. “So, it’s conversations, but I feel really confident that I’ll be good to go next year, be ready to go and I got full support from them, which is what matters to me.”

The Rams had four quarterbacks make at least one start during the 2022 season, including John Wolford, Bryce Perkins and Baker Mayfield, who started the final five games of the season.

Stafford is ready to go for next season, but he called his injury scare in New Orleans “unsettling.”

“It wasn’t fun,” Stafford said about experiencing numbness in his legs. “Wasn’t something I wanted to experience again. … It’s one of those things, it’s a little bit unsettling, probably just trying to figure out why that’s happened. That was the biggest thing for me. Got a hold on that, figured that out and feel like the rest that I’ve had is something that should set me up for a lot of success.”


Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp also had his 2022 season cut short because of an injury.

Kupp, who only played in nine games before having season-ending ankle surgery, said he’s motivated to improve and come back better for next season.

“All you can do is reflect on it,” Kupp said. “Try to find ways that you can improve things, make the changes that you need to make and get back to work. For all the guys in this locker room, that’s all we know.  … So many guys here are really motivated, excited for the opportunity to come back better.”

Kupp, who was named the 2021 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year after leading the NFL in receptions (145), touchdown catches (16), and receiving yards (1,947), hasn’t been cleared to return to football activities, but he said the medical team is pleased about the progress he’s made.


McVay said rookie safety Russ Yeast is in good condition and was cleared to leave the hospital and head home.

Yeast stayed in a Seattle hospital on Sunday after sustaining a pulmonary contusion during the regular-season finale against the Seahawks.

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Yeast, a seventh-round pick from Kansas State, made his first career start Sunday. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley and pass game coordinator Chris Shula went to the hospital to be with Yeast.

“He’s making his way back today (Monday),” McVay said. “So, that’s a blessing for us.”


Stafford has committed to playing next season. Now the Rams await the decision of McVay, and perhaps also a decision from defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who contemplated retirement after winning the Super Bowl last season.

McVay is mulling whether to explore TV analyst opportunities or return next season as the head coach of the Rams.

“I just continue to talk to him, be there for him, continue to support him in whatever is best for him,” Stafford said of McVay. “He’s given a lot to this organization, a lot to us as players. Being a head coach, I’ve never done it, but I imagine it’s a very trying job, so he’ll take some time to figure out what’s best for him and what’s best for this program and this team moving forward. I’ll support him with whatever he wants to do.”

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