Sean McVay won’t say whether Matthew Stafford suffered a concussion

Los Angeles Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is in the concussion protocol. He’s listed as questionable with a concussion.

So does Stafford definitely have a concussion?

“I can’t answer that,” coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday. “He’s going through that protocol.”

There was no followup question as to whether, for example, McVay “can’t answer” because he won’t answer, because he doesn’t know, or because he thinks the relevant rules prevent him from saying so.

Regardless, Stafford is clearly in the return-to-play version of the concussion protocol. It’s a five-step process that allows gradually more activity, as long as the player shows improvement along the way. Ultimately, clearance to play is made by the Independent Neurological Consultant.

Based on McVay’s comments from Friday, and given that Stafford was limited in practice on Friday, Stafford is in step three or four. He could, in theory, elevate to step five today (“full participation in practice and contact without restriction”) so that the INC can decide whether Stafford tolerates such activity without a recurrence of symptoms.

That’s the purpose of the steps. To add more activity in order to see whether the player does or doesn’t have a recurrence of symptoms. That’s why steps aren’t skipped. It’s a deliberately methodical process.

In an era that has seen players routinely receive clearance in seven days (the NFL said earlier this year that the median is nine days), Stafford still could be cleared by Sunday. It’s up to the INC.

McVay made it clear on Friday that the Rams listed Stafford as questionable in order to leave the door open as to the possibility that he’ll play. As McVay also said Friday, it’s an answer that could come as late as 90 minutes before kickoff, when teams official deactivate players from the 53-man roster who won’t be in uniform for the game.

And so a situation that started in vague in mysterious fashion will stay that way, possibly until late Sunday morning, L.A. time.

6 responses to “Sean McVay won’t say whether Matthew Stafford suffered a concussion

  1. The whole Stafford story has sounded very fishy all week.

    He showed symptoms Sunday night but was not put into the protocol until Tuesday and they didn’t tell the head coach until Tuesday or Wednesday?

    McVay, on Wednesday, said he didn’t know about the concussion on Monday when he had a press conference.

    Why wait until Tuesday to go into the protocol? Since the minimum is 5 days in the protocol Sunday or Monday gives you a much better chance of clearing that hurdle?

    Can the Rams prove that he went into the protocol Tuesday? What if he came in on Wednesday with a headache and they were like, “if only you had told us yesterday you might be able to play this weekend”.

  2. “McVay is overrated” says the undeclared football fan. McVay took the Rams to the Super Bowl twice in his first 5 years. How many times did your coach go?

  3. With Stafford I get it. It’s probably tough for anyone to tell whether it’s his normal brain fog or impact related.

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