Matthew Stafford’s injury was downgraded in seriousness today. It turns out that Matthew Stafford’s injury won’t require surgery, and that is great news for the Detroit Lions and their fans. When Stafford was knocked out of the game on a sack by Julius Peppers, fans were extremely worried about what that might mean for the future of the franchise. Most of the hopes for these Lions are pinned on the arm of Stafford, and losing him to an injury in the first game of the season is not what anyone wants to see. Shaun Hill was pretty good in replacing Stafford, but he isn’t the option that the Lions want on the field for the rest of the season.
According to ESPN, even though Stafford’s injured right shoulder won’t need surgery, there is still no timetable for Stafford to return to the field. That statement came from Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who probably saw his future as head coach of the Lions flash before his eyes when he learned of Stafford’s injury. There are two ways to look at Schwartz’s statement, with the first being that this is typical posturing by a head coach trying to keep the next opponent guessing about the Lions game plan. The second way to look at this is that the injury could actually be serious enough for Stafford to miss games in the coming weeks.
Last year was Matthew Stafford’s first season in the NFL after becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick out of Georgia. He played in 10 games and threw for 2,267 yards and 13 touchdowns in that action. He also threw 20 interceptions and fumbled the ball four times though, so it was clear he still needed to work on some things to come back better in 2010. Hopefully this turns out to be nothing more than a sprain that he can bounce back from in time to take the field again in week three, but the worst case scenario could still see Stafford miss as many as five or six games if he doesn’t get full motion back.
The only good way to look at the loss of Stafford is that he is not done for the year, and that at some point during the 2010 NFL season he will take the field again. Until then the Lions are going to have to hang tough if they want to attempt a run at the NFL Playoffs. Realistically, this is a team that is still a year or two away from making an appearance in the postseason, but losing by just a called-back touchdown in week 1 shows that the team is able to compete again. The next game for the Detroit Lions is on Sunday, September 19 when they host the Philadelphia Eagles. Expect Shaun Hill to be the starting quarterback for that contest.