Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford has no plans to shut down for the season

ALLEN PARK — Matthew Stafford said shutting down for the season has not been discussed. 

“This is what I do. I understand your question, this is what I love to do, I love playing football,’’ Stafford said on Wednesday.

The Detroit Lions quarterback, who is dealing with a back injury (he offered no specifics) has missed two straight games. Stafford would not rule himself out for Sunday at the Washington Redskins, but he didn’t practice on Wednesday and it seems unlikely he will get the green light.

“I appreciate all the hard work that all the guys in this locker room and in this organization put into going out there and trying to win games on Sunday and I love being a part of it,’’ Stafford said. “It’s tough for me to sit there without the pads on and not be able to impact the game on the field like I’m used to doing. That’s driving me to get back out there when we all deem it’s the right time.’’

When he is healthy he will be back. No consideration will be given to his future health or the fact the Lions are 3-6-1.

“I think for me if I’m healthy enough to go play I’m going to go play. Every time I step out on a football field the next week, the next play, the next year’s health is in question because it’s a violent game, I understand that,’’ Stafford said.

He repeatedly said he’s doing everything to get back out there as soon as possible.

“It’s not just myself going through it, there’s a bunch of people looking into it, a bunch of people going in on the decision on when is the best time for me to come back,’’ said Stafford who was injured late in the loss at Chicago on Nov. 10.

In the first nine games, he had thrown for 2,499 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions. 

“I was having a blast out there playing and it’s obviously just difficult to not be out there,’’ Stafford said.

Lions’ defense can’t contain Trubisky in loss to Bears; Driskel in for Stafford

The Lions had to win on Sunday to keep whatever weak chances they had of making the playoffs. Lousy play on both sides of the ball resulted in a 20-13 loss at the Chicago Bears.

Yes, the Lions were missing quarterback Matthew Stafford who was not cleared to play by doctors due to broken bones in his back. He had started 136 straight games. Jeff Driskel got the start. 

Here’s the thing, Stafford doesn’t play defense. 

The Lions dropped to 3-5-1 while the Bears (4-5) snapped their four-game losing streak. 

The Bears’ offense looked nearly Super Bowl worthy starting with their last possession in the second quarter and continuing through the third quarter – just long enough to do too much damage on the scoreboard. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who had been struggling this season, threw touchdown passes on three consecutive possessions. 

The Bears quarterback was nothing special in the first quarter, then he was transformed into more of what he looked like last season. It likely had something to do with going against the Lions’ defense, one of the worst in the NFL ((31st in yards allowed per game). Late in the third and into the fourth, the Bears were forced to punt four straight times. So give the Lions’ defense credit there.

After two Matt Prater field goals in the first half, Driskel connected with Kenny Golladay on a 47-yard touchdown play with 5:53 left in the fourth to cut the Bears’ lead to 20-13. Time was not on the Lions’ side. The Lions defense forced a punt on the Bears’ last possession and Detroit got the ball back with 1:48 left at their own 10-yard line but there just was not enough time to get to the end zone.

The Lions’ defense is missing key players (Tracy Walker, Da’Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara). Sorry, no excuses. The Bears ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense (266.8 yards per game) before Sunday’s game. It was a game where the Lions’ defense should have stepped up and made a statement no matter who was playing

The Lions played the second half without running back Ty Johnson and right tackle Rick Wagner who were both tested for concussions. 

After Driskel completed his first five passes in the first quarter, he struggled which was expected. He started five games for the Cincinnati Bengals last year (going 1-4) but other than that the 26-year-old quarterback just doesn’t have the knowledge, the experience and feel for the game. He finished 27 of 46 for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also Detroit’s leading rusher with five carries for 37 yards. That also speaks volumes about the offense.

Several reports say that Stafford is week to week. He was on the sidelines, giving advice to Driskel. 

Up next: Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17. (Dallas hosts the Vikings on Sunday night.)

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

Lions Matthew Stafford to sit today at Chicago; breaks streak of 136 starts

Wife Kelly says no one knows what he has gone through

Matthew Stafford’s streak of 136 straight starts will end today at Chicago. The Lions quarterback was listed among the Lions’ inactive players 90 minutes before kickoff.

Stafford had been limited in practice all week and was listed as questionable for the game on Friday’s report.

Jeff Driskell is expected to start. He started the final five games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 and played in four others. He completed 59.7 percent of his passes, threw for 1,005 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Schefter reports Stafford has fractured bones in his back and is considered week to week. It appears he was injured on first-and-goal at the end of last Sunday’s game. 

On Wednesday, Stafford downplayed it and said it was different from injury at the beginning of the year. “I’ll be good to go. I’m not really worried about it. Something different, but I’m totally good,’’ Stafford told reporters.

Stafford’s wife Kelly posted on Facebook: “I don’t think there is anything this man hates more than to not be out there battling with his guys. These men work so hard all year long. It’s it’s tough to sideline them. So I’m grateful for our team docs. He has battled through so much, so much more than anyone knows. I’m incredibly proud to be his wife, he the toughest SOB. But I’m happy his body will get a little healing time … I know I can speak for all of us when I say it’s always nice to beat the Bears. Let’s go!”

His streak started on Sept. 11, 2011. His last missed start was on Jan. 2, 2011.

Other Lions inactives vs. the Bears: Tracy Walker, Da’Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara, Miles Killebrew, Michael Jackson and Beau Benzschawel.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)