Detroit Lions will be guilty of malfeasance if either Matthew Stafford or Kerryon Johnson play again

The Detroit Lions have three games remaining on what will be yet another season without a playoff appearance, and as such, they should be looking ahead to the future while protecting their most important assets that may eventually help them taste success.

Two of those top assets are quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Kerryon Johnson. Both are the key figures in Detroit's offense, yet both are injured and have missed multiple weeks of action.

And yet, both are trying to return before the season ends.

They shouldn't be allowed to.

Simply put – if the Lions allow either of these players to suit up for meaningless football and risk further injury, the organization as a whole will be guilty of malfeasance.

Never mind what both players “want” to do. We all know the competitive desire that burns within Stafford. For crying out loud, he played last season with a broken back, even after there was no discernible reason to do so. Last season, just like the present time, the Lions were nowhere near a playoff spot, and yet No. 9 continued to trot onto the field.

Johnson was quoted as saying that he intends to play as much as possible”

“For me, as stupid as some people may see it, I like to play,” he said. “I did all this work in the offseason, all this work in the summer, and I didn’t do it to play five games.”

That's great, Kerryon. Save that desire for next season when it will actually matter.

As far as Stafford is concerned, the risk of further damaging his already damaged back outweighs whatever competitive high he'll get from playing in any of Detroit's remaining games. If the Lions are to have any success over the next few years, no doubt Stafford will be at the center of it.

It will truly be a shame to see either of these players risk further injury to participate in meaningless football “just because”. I get that these players want to be in game action regardless of their team's record.

The Lions organization must protect their assets for the future. Capitulating to those assets desire to risk further injury for no reason other than competitive desire is negligent, short-sighted, and as mentioned, pure malfeasance.

There is no reason for either player to suit up again this season. None. Their jobs are already secured for next season. Save the competitive juices for next year, because this year is a lost cause.