Schefter says Stafford will not necessarily miss the next six games, but the fact that it’s a six-week injury underscores just how much pain Stafford was playing through before team doctors shut him down for last week’s game against the Bears. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com also hears that the 2009 No. 1 overall pick could miss an additional six games, though the plan is for him to have another scan this week to get a more accurate timeline. Per Rapoport, there is a chance Stafford could return for next week’s matchup against the Redskins, but that doesn’t sound particularly likely.
What neither Schefter nor Rapoport say is that the Lions could choose to keep Stafford sidelined for the rest of the year if Detroit’s playoff hopes continue to fade. The Lions are currently 3-5-1 and are in last place in the NFC North, so even with a healthy Stafford, the club would be a longshot to qualify for the postseason. Assuming Detroit can’t make up any ground with Jeff Driskel under center, the team would be wise to not jeopardize Stafford’s long-term health for no reason.
Of course, head coach Matt Patricia could be on the hot seat, so he doubtlessly wants Stafford to return as quickly as possible. But considering how well Stafford has played this year even with the injury, preserving him for 2020 may be in the team’s best interests.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.