Lions Matthew Stafford Questionable for Game Sunday
The Detroit Lions are 6-6 and two games behind in the race for the final NFC wildcard spot and a loss on Sunday would almost end their already slim hopes of a playoff berth.
On Friday, the Lions announced that quarterback Matthew Stafford was listed as questionable for the game against Tampa Bay due to a bruised right hand.
Stafford participated in practice all week but on a limited basis using tape on two fingers. In each practice, Stafford’s number of throws and his velocity improved. On Wednesday he did not throw a pass, while Thursday he threw lightly and on Friday his passes were more complete.
Stafford as the Detroit quarterback has 108 starts under center including every game dating back to the beginning of the 2011 season. Stafford’s starting streak is the third longest amongst NFL quarterbacks.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell announced on Friday that Stafford had progressed during the week and that his quarterback threw decently on Thursday. Caldwell gave no indication if there was a point in which they needed to see Stafford reach in order for him to play Sunday versus the Buccaneers.
However, Stafford on Wednesday said that feeling returned to his right hand, which was significant because on Sunday he said that his hand had gone numb for a brief period with nerve pain.
During the week Stafford said he and the trainers would look at the hand and see how it felt and hopefully see progression each day until game day on Sunday.
Lions’ backup quarterback Jake Rudock received more reps with the first team during the week in case the Lions need him to play in place of Stafford on Sunday.
Although Stafford remains questionable for Sunday’s game, Rick Wagner the starting right tackle will not play due to an injured ankle he suffered when it was landed on by Stafford during Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Including Stafford, Detroit has eight starters or important contributors listed on the injury report as questionable. Those players include RB-Ameer Abdullah, punter-Sam Martin, RT-T.J. Lang, C-Travis Swanson, DE-Ezekiel Ansah and punt returner Jamal Agnew.