Matthew Stafford is dealing with a serious injury that could keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. But since the injury is a spinal contusion, one former NFL doctor believes Stafford's career could be over. On the YouTube channel Sports Injury Central, Dr. David Chao says Stafford will have to either get surgery for the spinal contusion or he will have to retire.
"It seems Matthew Stafford and his family will have a choice this offseason," Chao said, per Sportskeeda. "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."
There is no word from the Rams or Stafford about retiring. After the Rams won the Super Bowl last season, Stafford signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension with the team. The 34-year-old quarterback dealt with injuries during the offseason as he underwent a procedure on his elbow. Stafford has not played since Week 11 of this season and had thrown for 2,087 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games.
In April, Stafford talked to Bleacher Report about going for another Super Bowl title. "I think we play in the most competitive league there is and anybody can beat anybody on any Sunday," Stafford said. "I approached the offseason the exact same way. I will approach the season when it gets here the exact same way. I understand that it's going to take everything we have as a team to go out there and get wins on Sunday and let the chips fall where they may."
Stafford joined the Rams last year after spending his first 11 seasons with the Detroit Lions. During his time in Detroit, Stafford led the Lions to the playoffs three times and didn't win a postseason game. When he joined the Rams last year, the Georgia alum won four consecutive playoff games including the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the game was played at the Rams' home field SoFi Stadium. In his career, Stafford has thrown for 52,082 yards, 333 touchdowns and has a 90.8 passer rating.