Nothing really seemed to go right for the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon as they fell to the Carolina Panthers, 27-24. The Lions defense, though doing a great job of stopping the run, gave up big plays through the air, while the offense did not wake up until the fourth quarter when the Panthers’ defense took their foot off the gas.
During the loss, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was tossed around like a rag doll and he suffered a couple of injuries in the process. The most notable was to his right leg, which ended up needing a tape job, both near his knee and around his foot and ankle. Though Stafford was able to keep playing, he was clearly favoring his leg or the remainder of the game. In addition, if you were watching, you probably noticed that he was bleeding from his non-throwing hand.
Following the game, reporters tried to get Stafford to shed some light on the injuries but, predictably, he was not willing to give out any information. *Note: According to Kyle Meinke of MLive, Stafford “spent so long getting treatment after the game, he didn’t even start talking to reporters until after every other player had exited the locker room.”
From Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
“Coach will handle all that stuff, talk to you guys about all that kind of stuff, but we just got to get into a rhythm earlier on offense,” Stafford said. “I wish I would have played better earlier in the game, but I appreciate the effort our guys had. Great battle. That’s a really good football team we just faced but we got to find a way to play a little bit better on offense, especially early on.”
Despite playing hurt, Stafford nearly orchestrated yet another miraculous comeback as the Lions scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to cut the Panthers lead to 27-24. Unfortunately, the Detroit defense was unable to prevent Cam Newton and the Carolina offense from picking up a first down, which essentially ended the game.
Whether or not either of the injuries to Stafford ends up being more serious than we currently know, having the most valuable player on your team banged up is never a great thing.