When the Detroit Lions initial Injury Report came out this past Wednesday, Matthew Stafford was listed as limited with a hip/back injury.
Though Stafford admitted the back injury was something new, he told reporters he was fine and he would be good to go on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
And they bought it.
In fact, when reports surfaced at about 1 a.m. on Sunday morning that Stafford was in serious jeopardy of missing the Lions Week 10 game vs. the Bears, some beat writers emphasized that from what they were told all week, it would surprising if he sat out.
Well, later Sunday morning another report was released confirming Stafford would not play due to fractured bones in his back and that he could miss up to three weeks of action.
Prior to the game, Lions GM Bob Quinn spoke to the media, telling them the decision to deactivate Stafford was made this morning (Sunday).
Bob Quinn on Stafford: “Had the back injury last week near the end of the Oakland game. Practiced on limited all week. Listed him as questionable. Got to the stadium this morning, met with the doctors, and he wasn’t medically cleared to play today. So, he’s deactivated."
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) November 10, 2019
Stafford’s wife, Kelly posted a message to Instagram thanking the Lions’ team doctors.
“I don’t think there’s anything this man hates more than not battling with his guys,” Kelly Stafford wrote. “These men work so hard all year long. It’s tough to sideline them. So I’m grateful for our team docs. He battled through so much, more than anybody knows. I’m incredibly proud to be his wife, He’s the toughest SOB, but I’m happy his body will get a little healing time.”
As we know now, Stafford did not play and the Lions lost 20-13 to a pretty bad Bears team.
Following the game, some interesting tweets were sent by reporters suggesting that some Lions players knew on Saturday that Stafford would not play while others, including backup QB Jeff Driskel, did not find out until Sunday morning.
Matthew Stafford was telling people yesterday he would not be able to play. Jeff Driskel said he found out this morning that he was starting. Ummm.
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) November 10, 2019
When Lions head coach Matt Patricia was asked about the timeline for the decision to make Stafford inactive, he said he made the decision on Sunday.
From Detroit News:
“It got to the point where, I guess, for me to make the decision here today before the game was it wasn’t safe for him to play,” Patricia said. “From my standpoint, I’m not going to put him in that situation. I love football, I love the game, I’m probably the most competitive guy you’ve ever met, I want to win more than anybody, but I’m not going to put somebody in harm’s way when it’s not a good decision by myself and the medical staff.”
Patricia also emphasized that all he cares about is what is going on inside his own building.
“All the talk that’s going to go on outside of our building doesn’t really matter to us,” Patricia said. “What matters to us is just coming in and working hard, trying to get better. I think that’s the biggest thing for us. I think if you start diving into all the other stuff, it’s just a lot of negativity right now.”
If Stafford was indeed telling players on Saturday that he would not be playing, it is safe to say the Lions coaching staff, along with GM Bob Quinn, were also knowledgeable about the situation. And if they were, the why in the hell did Jeff Driskel not know he was starting until today?
What on God’s green earth is going on in Allen Park?