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Matthew Stafford starts throwing at camp, with a “fluid process” for managing his elbow

A move out west helped Matthew Stafford rise in Chris Simms' Quarterback Countdown while Aaron Rodgers, a personal favorite of Simms, settles in at No. 5.

The defending Super Bowl champions returned to work on Sunday with one significant question mark regarding their franchise quarterback’s most important appendage -- his throwing arm.

An elbow issue lingered in the offseason, at one point requiring an anti-inflammatory shot.

Now that camp has started, Stafford has started throwing.

“Definitely knocking some rust off and feeling it again,” Stafford told reporters on Sunday. “It’s good to get out there and stress it a little bit and see how it reacts.”

As to whether there’s a specific formula he’ll follow when it comes to throwing, Stafford acknowledged that “there’s a little bit of something that we have down on paper, but it’ll be fluid I’m sure.”

“It’s an interesting thing trying to have a little bit of governor on there, and at the same time, just trying to be as smart as I can,” Stafford added. “It’s a process. Just going to have to sit there and work through it, trust it. We’ll figure it out as we go.”

Coach Sean McVay told reporters that there’s a “pitch count” for Stafford, but that “it didn’t restrict him from being able to do anything [on Sunday].”

There’s no reason to think that the elbow will be a problem, other than the fact that it has been a problem in the not-too-distant past. The elbow is a critical part of the throwing apparatus, obviously. Irritation, if it returns, will require further treatment and management. It’s a long season. Stafford has made a career out of finding a way to play through anything and everything.

Still, it would be better for him and the Rams if the elbow ends up being nothing, for as long as possible.