Despite missing eight games with a spinal cord contusion last season, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said there were no concerns about an early retirement. But scuttlebutt from this past weekend’s NFL Combine suggests differently.

The buzz around Stafford is not good and the expectation he will return for the 2023-24 season is premature at best, according to Matthew Berry of NBC Sports.NBC Sports Matthew Berry reports the buzz around Stafford is not good and reports of the Rams quarterback return to return for the 2023-24 season are premature at best.

“The guy could barely throw last year. Retirement is still not out of the question.”

This is a far cry from what came out of the Stafford camp late last season when the 34-year-old gunslinger was put on IR for the remainder of 2022-23. His wife, Kelly, denied that he was thinking about retirement or major surgery on her podcast and head coach Sean McVay backed up her claims.

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“He’ll be good,” McVay said at the time. “To my knowledge, there’s nothing like that that’s going to be required or necessary. And it will be great for Matthew to have a healthy offseason and do a lot of the things that I think he’ll feel good about being able to do.”

Stafford, who came to the Rams in 2021 and led the organization to its first Super Bowl win since 2000, signed a four-year $160 million contract extension before the start of last season. With injuries riddling the lineup the Rams struggled to 5-12 record.

McVay flirted with retirement himself before deciding to stick around. The Rams are looking at making big changes to the roster, which could include the potential trade of All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey before the upcoming draft.