IRVINE — The Rams started Matthew Stafford’s new workout plan on Wednesday by having him be a spectator during team drills, something he will do for the six remaining training camp practices at UC Irvine.
Stafford also didn’t throw during the individual period and he spent most of his time on the field away from his fellow quarterbacks to work on his cardio and dropbacks. Rams coach Sean McVay said Stafford is expected to throw during individual drills on Thursday, but added that the 34-year-old won’t throw during team settings for at least the next two weeks.
“Based on the medical experts and the plan and talking with Matthew this is what we think is best,” McVay said. “I am optimistic that it’ll give us the best chance for him to feel as good as possible. … Give it a week or two weeks to give it enough time to really see, ‘OK, is this new plan that we’ve implemented getting the results that we’re hunting up?’ I think everybody feels good about that.”
The Rams took a less-is-more approach with the 14-year veteran quarterback because he was dealing with pain in his throwing arm after one week of training camp. Stafford had a full workload to begin camp after not throwing the entire offseason program because of an elbow injection he received.
McVay didn’t rule out the possibility of Stafford throwing in team drills before entering game week for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp said he’s not concerned about Stafford’s limited workload before the regular season.
“He’s played very high-level football for a long time,” Kupp said. “He’s going to be able to throw the rock, and for him being out here and being able to see things, he’s still as engaged as ever. Whenever that time comes up, he’s able to get back out there and throw the ball, I know he’s going to be ready to go.”
WOLFORD STEPS IN
Backup quarterback John Wolford has been sharp while filling in for Stafford in team drills and has displayed chemistry with Kupp and wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Wolford had an impressive deep strike to second-year wide receiver Tutu Atwell on a rollout that required him to throw across his body.
Kupp said he’s not surprised by Wolford’s standout performances, but mentioned that there was a bit of an adjustment phase because of the height difference between Wolford and Stafford.
“John has a process he goes by, and just like the receivers room, he’s pushing himself, challenging himself to be the best version of himself,” Kupp said. “So when he steps in and these kinds of situations come up, we can move into that place where he can now step in and run the show. I think he’s doing a great job. He’s a little bit shorter than Matthew, so getting used to feeling where the ball is coming out of, but he’s been doing such a great job.”
NO TIMETABLE FOR VAN’S RETURN
McVay said Van Jefferson’s knee surgery went well on Tuesday, but he didn’t provide a timetable for the wide receiver’s return.
Jefferson sustained a knee tweak last week and has missed the past four practices. Ben Skowronek and Atwell have split reps as the third wide receiver with the first-team unit since Jefferson’s absence.
“It’s hard to put a timetable,” McVay said about the possibility of Jefferson returning for the season opener. “There’s a possibility but that will be something that I’ll have a better feel for as he really starts getting into the rehab, but in terms of what we know about how yesterday went, really encouraging things.”
REMEMBERING VIN SCULLY
McVay opened his post-practice news conference by remembering iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who died Tuesday at age 94.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to the Scully family,” McVay said. “Vin Scully was a legend in the L.A. sports arena. I’ve heard so many great things about him just from people who have been here a lot longer than me. Even hearing Al Michaels talk about him, but what a legend. What a great man, what a great legacy that he left.”
CAMP NOTES FROM WEDNESDAY
All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald received a day off, according to McVay.
“We’re going to continue to be smart with him, just with the experience that he’s accumulated,” McVay said. “He’s feeling good, but we want to be smart with him with his workload just going into Year 9.” …
Rookie Derion Kendrick had several first-team snaps as an outside cornerback on the opposite side of Troy Hill and with David Long as the slot cornerback. Kendrick again displayed his physicality and nose for the ball, but he plays with plenty of emotion and that costs him at times. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, however, made sure Kendrick was in the right headspace by proving pointers and joking with him on the sideline. …
Kendrick getting the nod as the third cornerback over Robert Rochell likely doesn’t reflect what the coaching staff thinks of Rochell, who’s had an impressive training camp through nine practices. This was probably more about Kendrick getting experience with the first unit. …
Robinson, the newcomer wideout, has been on a tear the past few practices and Wednesday was no different with Wolford at quarterback. Robinson’s sturdy hands and large catch radius allowed him to make a handful of plays in the middle of the field. Robinson has found his footing after a few slow practices to start the summer.