Detroit Lions News: Matthew Stafford foolishly starting in Tennessee

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is going to attempt to play through his thumb and rib injury.

The Detroit Lions are set to take on the Tennessee Titans Sunday with franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford under center despite being unable to practice all week due to a rib injury he suffered last week against Green Bay.

Stafford had been scrambling for a first down late in the game but failed to get down quick enough before being sandwiched by a pair of Packers’ players, in turn, violently folded up.  Now, instead of just gutting out torn cartilage in his thumb, of course, on his throwing hand, Stafford appears to be willing to start Sunday with this rib injury.

Don’t forget we are just a year removed from Stafford being shut down due to a serious lingering back injury.  This begs the question, with so much uncertainty with the Detroit Lions franchise moving forward, why is management allowing Stafford the opportunity to finish the 2020 season injured?

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The Detroit Lions are out of the playoff hunt.  They’ve been playing without their top receiver virtually all season long, and now they will be without their Pro Bowl-caliber center Frank Ragnow after suffering a fractured throat last week.  Having a reliable center who will get the offensive line protection right each play is one of the most underrated crafts in all of football.  Detroit will likely roll out Joe Dahl to fill in for Ragnow this week.

Running a less than 100-percent healthy Stafford onto the field in what is considered a meaningless football game is just senseless.

The word meaningless will surely negatively stir some people, but the truth hurts sometimes.  The Detroit Lions need to protect their investment, and protecting their investment is shutting down their banged-up franchise quarterback.

With the direction of the organization in limbo, awaiting their next general manager and head coach.  Will the new regime prefer to build around a rookie quarterback, or will they believe they can build around a 33-year old quarterback?

In both scenarios having a healthy Stafford is mandatory.  If the Detroit Lions hope to trade Stafford to a contender at seasons’ end or retain his services for the 2021 season, he needs to be healthy.

At this point, there is no need to risk Stafford’s health, and management needed to step in and shut down Stafford.  You understand that Darrell Bevell isn’t just auditioning to become the Detroit Lions’ next head coach; he’s auditioning for future openings across the league.

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Bevell would not willingly sit Stafford; management needed to step in, but they’ve failed.