Lions quarterback Drew Stanton will be out until the end of September with a sprained ligament in his right thumb. Stanton hurt his thumb when he jammed it into a teammate's shoulder pad, and initially it wasn't expected to be a very serious injury. Unfortunately for Stanton and the Lions, that's not the case as Stanton will be gone for at least a month.
"There's no fracture and no surgery is indicated,'' said Lions athletic trainer Dean Kleinschmidt. "The treatment is to immobilize it so he's in a cast for four weeks. He'll be re-evaluated in two weeks, take the cast off and re-evaluate him and in all likelihood put (the cast) back on. In four weeks it comes off, a couple days of strengthening and he should be throwing quickly after the cast comes off.''
According to that timetable, Stanton should be back in uniform by Detroit's fourth game on Oct. 5 against the Chicago Bears.
This isn't a blow to the Lions in the sense that they lost a starter or anything like that, but it hurts because Stanton's development now comes to a screeching halt. Stanton had improved greatly since camp opened back in July, and in both preseason games he looked good. The month of development he loses will hurt the Lions (and Stanton) in the long run this season, but if something happens to Jon Kitna then it'll hurt even more in the short term. I'm not exactly all that confident in having Dan Orlovsky back up Kitna, and beyond that, there is no depth at QB.
It'll be interesting to see how the Lions handle the quarterback situation going into the regular season. Will they sign a third QB and put Stanton on the PUP list? If that's the case he would be out for the first 6 weeks of the season. Considering his projected return isn't until October 5, what's one more week? That way the Lions could keep three healthy quarterbacks on the roster just in case Kitna gets hurt and things with Orlovsky don't work out.