Sharing her thoughts. Kelly Stafford opened up after her husband, Matthew Stafford, was placed on the NFL’s concussion protocol for the second time this month.
The registered nurse, 33, gave fans an update on the Los Angeles Rams quarterback, 34, during the Tuesday, November 29, episode of her “The Morning After” podcast. Kelly explained that the athlete is still being evaluated for concussion symptoms following his November 20 game against the New Orleans Saints.
“You have the decision to make sure you’re not [feeling off],” she said, explaining what she discussed with her husband. “I’m not saying retirement. I’m saying really take care of yourself and listen to your body when you get hit. I think he’s doing a lot more of that.”
Matthew was previously placed on concussion protocol on November 9 and later returned to the roster, but when he got hit again during the November 20 game, he was removed from play and again underwent monitoring for concussion symptoms. It hasn’t yet been determined if and when he’ll return for more games.
“If it was up to me, you guys know how I would feel,” Kelly said, hinting that she would prefer if Matthew sat out the rest of the season. “But it’s not up to me. It’s my husband and what he’s worked for. I love that he’s a competitor, I love that he wants to be out there.”
She went on to note that she asked her husband why he wants to “go back out there” after suffering multiple injuries. “He looked at me and he goes, ‘Well, if I’m healthy enough to go, the players rely on me,'” she recalled. “‘My teammates rely on me, and the owner and the coach. Everyone relies on me and I have to earn the paycheck. I was paid to play. I wasn’t paid to sit. So, if I’m healthy enough to go, I’m gonna go.’ And like, you can’t really fight with that.”
Kelly added that Matthew already wants to return to the field, but he “still has some symptoms” that require monitoring. “We’re not even there yet,” she explained. “It’s been a hard couple months.”
She also slammed the NFL for continuing to use turf fields instead of grass, which proponents believe to be easier on players’ bodies. “Why is the NFL not being like, ‘You’ve gotta change it?’ It’s an easy fix,” the University of Georgia alum said. “It’s baffling to me that they are spending all that money [expanding the league] and yet these players are still on this s–ty turf.”
The podcast host, who married Matthew in 2015, previously detailed her fears after her husband was placed on concussion protocol in early November. “I have every emotion running through me,” she wrote via Instagram earlier this month. “Concerned, angry, sad, tired … all of them.”
The former cheerleader also called out the NFL for the continued use of turf at the time, writing: “There should be no more turf for the health of these players. Not just their limbs, but more importantly their head health. There is a big difference when a helmet hits grass than when it hits turf.”