Slay leaves with hamstring, Tate also hurt
In the second quarter, Darius Slay left the game with a hamstring injury after a tackle on Odell Beckham Jr. He had been dealing with a hamstring injury during the week. He was designated as questionable to return, later downgraded to doubtful and did not return.
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After the game, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweeted that the Lions announced Golden Tate would be evaluated for an unspecified injury and that updates would follow. At his post-game press conference, Caldwell opted not to provide any updates on Tate’s injury. The Detroit Free Press tweeted that Tate appeared to take a hit to his midsection on the same play as Stafford’s interception. Haloti Ngata left the game briefly in the first quarter before returning later in the same possession.
Giants’ cornerback Janoris Jenkins left the game in the second quarter with a reported back injury. He was labeled questionable before being downgraded to out. After the game, ProFootballTalk tweeted that Jenkins had not suffered a back injury and would be undergoing tests to rule out damage to organs.
Stafford plays despite finger injury
Matthew Stafford started on Sunday despite the injury to his middle finger he suffered last week against the Chicago Bears. After being a full participant in practice all week, Stafford wore a special one-fingered glove for support and played every snap in Sunday’s game. He completed 24 of 39 passes for 273 yards in the game, and although some of his passes seemed to float in the air a bit longer than normal, his throwing ability seemed mostly unaffected by the injury and the glove.
Lions’ ground game struggles on both sides of ball
Without Theo Riddick, the Lions’ rushers struggled, only gaining 56 yards on 19 carries, led by Dwayne Washington‘s 31 yards on 14 carries. On the other side of the ball, the Giants ran the ball quite capably, gaining 114 yards on 32 carries, with Paul Perkins leading all New York running backs with 56 yards on 11 carries.
Missed opportunities plague Detroit
The Lions had a few opportunities to make big plays in the game but failed to take advantage of those opportunities, which ultimately cost them in a close game.
On their first scoring drive, the Lions settled for a field goal after a Stafford pass intended for Tate was tipped away at the last instant by New York cornerback Eli Apple. Late in the half, Stafford completed a deep pass to Tate at the New York 11-yard line only for Zach Zenner to fumble on the next play. The Giants recovered the fumble and began to drive but nearly turned the ball over when Shane Vereen fumbled. The Lions were unable to recover and, although the play was nullified by a New York penalty, the Giants scored a field goal on the drive to take a seven-point lead to halftime.