Lions Rumors

Matthew Stafford Could Miss Six Weeks

Lions QB Matthew Stafford has fractured bones in his back, and as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes, the injury could keep Stafford sidelined for six more weeks.

Schefter says Stafford will not necessarily miss the next six games, but the fact that it’s a six-week injury underscores just how much pain Stafford was playing through before team doctors shut him down for last week’s game against the Bears. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com also hears that the 2009 No. 1 overall pick could miss an additional six games, though the plan is for him to have another scan this week to get a more accurate timeline. Per Rapoport, there is a chance Stafford could return for next week’s matchup against the Redskins, but that doesn’t sound particularly likely.

What neither Schefter nor Rapoport say is that the Lions could choose to keep Stafford sidelined for the rest of the year if Detroit’s playoff hopes continue to fade. The Lions are currently 3-5-1 and are in last place in the NFC North, so even with a healthy Stafford, the club would be a longshot to qualify for the postseason. Assuming Detroit can’t make up any ground with Jeff Driskel under center, the team would be wise to not jeopardize Stafford’s long-term health for no reason.

Of course, head coach Matt Patricia could be on the hot seat, so he doubtlessly wants Stafford to return as quickly as possible. But considering how well Stafford has played this year even with the injury, preserving him for 2020 may be in the team’s best interests.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed one of the most unique workouts in NFL history this afternoon. The NFL offered to stage a workout for the quarterback earlier this week. However, Kaepernick’s team became weary of the league’s intentions when his representatives were refused in their requests to open the event to the public. In a last minute decision, Kaepernick’s representation moved the event from the Falcons facility to a public location on their own.

Here’s the latest on the workout and its aftermath:

  • When the venue was changed, the NFL released a public statement on NFL.com that expressed they were “disappointed” with Kaepernick’s choice not to participate in the workout they had organized. They claimed “Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout.” The league also felt the need to note they “made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin’s representatives,” among a list of other points that attempted to counter some narratives that the league had been purposely opaque in their negotiations.
  • The league also tweeted out from the league’s official account a thread reiterating some main points from the press release. One key point from the league’s perspective, “Colin moved his workout to a facility an hour from Atlanta Falcons Flowery Branch facility. No one got a heads up until NFL saw the Twitter statement.”
  • Former Raiders and Browns head coach Hue Jackson was scheduled to run the workout orchestrated by the NFL. However, while Kaepernick’s team invited Jackson to run the workout at the new venue, Jackson returned to the airport, according to Michael Silver of NFL.com.
  • WR Bruce Ellington, WR Brice Butler, WR Jordan Veasy, TE/WR Ari Werts, and Panthers S Eric Reid were on the field with Kaepernick for the workout, according to Kaylee Harung of ABC News. The free-agent receivers were likely hoping to catch the eyes of scouts present to view Kaepernick, while Reid has been one of the most consistent advocated for Kaepernick in the league.
  • One claim in the announcement made by Kaepernick’s representatives was that the league required he sign an agreement that included language to limit his ability to bring claims against the league. Of course, given Kaepernick’s previous collusion lawsuit against the league, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk argues the workout was a ploy by the league to put Kaepernick “in legal checkmate.”
  • In the end, there were not nearly as many teams present at Kaepernick’s workout as the NFL claimed would have been present for the workout they had planned. The Washington football team, Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs, Jets, Titans, and Lions were the teams present for his workout, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
  • The 2-hour workout was streamed on YouTube and consistently maintained roughly 45,000 viewers. On the field, one NFL executive described Kaepernick’s arm talent as “elite” and on the same level as “when he came out of college,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
  • Teams that had personnel present for the workout noted that the workout consisted of 60 throws and “Basically showed he’s the same guy he was,” according to Albert Breer of MMQB. After the workout, Kaepernick did not hold any formal interviews, but in his closing remarks said he would hold an interview with any team. He also thanked his fans for their support and reiterated, “I’ve been ready. I’m staying ready. And I’ll continue to be ready….The ball’s in their court. We’re ready to go.”

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/16/19

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Washington Redskins

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Cam Sims

North Notes: Steelers, Burnett, Lions

If you’ve missed the latest Thursday-night game, injuries have limited the Steelers. Pittsburgh lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner; the former suffered a concussion and the latter re-injured the AC joint that sidelined him for the past two games. Both are out for the rest of the Browns game, as are cornerback Artie Burns and wideout Diontae Johnson (due to a knee injury and a concussion, respectively). This is Smith-Schuster’s third known concussion since coming into the league. He suffered two as a rookie in 2017.

Here is the latest from the North divisions:

  • Both of the Browns‘ starting safeties are out of tonight’s game. Shortly before Damarious Randall was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit, the Browns lost Morgan Burnett. The ex-Packers and Steelers defender suffered what the Browns fear is a significant Achilles injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). After being relegated to a part-time role in his one Pittsburgh season, Burnett has been a full-time starter in Cleveland.
  • The NFL is looking into the Lions‘ handling of Matthew Stafford‘s back injury, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com notes. Multiple Lions players were informed Saturday that Stafford would not play, but Detroit had called the quarterback a game-time decision. Stafford has been playing through back pain all season. The league requires teams to update their injury reports if it has been decided, prior to a team’s stadium arrival, a player will not play.
  • With Michael Pierce battling an injury, the Ravens bolstered their defensive tackle corps with two veteransDomata Peko and Justin Ellis.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/13/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promoted from practice squad: T Chandler Brewer, DB Donte Deayon

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Matthew Stafford Has Fractured Bones In Back

NOV. 10: Stafford has fractured bones in his back, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. As such, doctors will not allow him to play in the team’s contest against the Bears on Sunday. Stafford’s streak of 136 consecutive starts will come to an end, and Schefter says he could miss up to three weeks.

NOV. 9: After some early-career injury issues, Matthew Stafford has been one of the NFL’s most durable players. The Lions quarterback has not missed a start since the 2010 season. That streak is suddenly in jeopardy.

On Detroit’s injury report with hip and back trouble, Stafford is shaping up as a true game-time decision. The Lions are concerned about their 11th-year passer’s availability for Sunday’s Bears game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Stafford has appeared on the Lions’ injury report earlier this season but has taken every snap. Should Stafford be unable to go, the Lions are thin at backup quarterback. Jeff Driskel, who signed with the team earlier this season, joins rookie UDFA David Blough as the other quarterbacks on the Lions’ 53-man roster.

The Lions enter Sunday’s Chicago tilt at 3-4-1 and would certainly be major underdogs if Stafford is unable to go. Stafford did get in three limited practices this week. Considering his history, that’s a good sign for his availability for this NFC North matchup.

The 2009 No. 1 overall pick has started 136 straight games. He’s played well this season, rating seventh in Total QBR and having thrown 19 touchdown passes compared to five interceptions. Driskel last suited up for the Bengals in 2018, making five starts for an injured Andy Dalton. Blough was a multiyear starter at Purdue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Move Miles Killebrew Back To S

  • Lions safety Miles Killebrew suffered a concussion during Thursday’s practice, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com notes. The Lions moved Killebrew to linebacker last year, but the trade of Quandre Diggs and Tracy Walker‘s knee injury prompted the team to shift Killebrew back to safety recently. UFA addition Tavon Wilson, third-round rookie Will Harris and rookie UDFA C.J. Moore are the Lions’ only healthy safeties. Killebrew and Walker are out for Sunday’s Bears tilt
  • The Lions’ two-year extension for Christian Jones features a short-term sacrifice for a 2020 payment. The deal reduces the linebacker’s 2019 salary from $2.45MM to the veteran minimum, which will be worth approximately $426K for the season’s remainder. In exchange, Jones will receive a $1.97MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. The through-2021 deal averages $2.92MM. Detroit tacked on a voidable 2022 year, in order to spread the bonus across three seasons instead of two.