Matthew Stafford to Start Against Cleveland

As expected, Jim Schwartz has named Matthew Stafford the Lions' starting quarterback for tomorrow's game against the Browns.  I say this was expected because Daunte Culpepper got the start in the first game, and now it is Stafford's turn to work with the first team.  Similar to the rotation they have in practice, both Culpepper and Stafford have had their fair share of work with the starters, and the hope for the coaches is that after tomorrow's game someone will have played well enough to stand out as this team's starting QB.  That way naming a starter for the third preseason game, which usually mirrors a regular season game the most, wouldn't be too tough of a decision for Jim Schwartz and company.

I doubt a starter for the season opener will be named publicly until the week of the first game or days before it, but we should get a pretty good indication of who that will be based on the depth chart for next week's game against Indianapolis.  Like I said, the third preseason game usually is the most like a regular season game, and the coaches probably would like a starter to be in place by then.  Of course, chances are that both Stafford and Culpepper will play pretty equally, keeping us wondering a while longer.  Then again, if Stafford is already equally as good as Culpepper, shouldn't he get the nod to start based on how little time in the league it took him to do that?  I guess only Schwartz knows the answer to that question, but really any speculation before tomorrow's game is pointless.

Safety Louis Delmas is also going to be in the starting lineup tomorrow.  He missed the first preseason game because of an injury, but it looks like the injury list in general will be a little smaller for the Browns game.

Receiver Calvin Johnson (thumb), rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew (thigh), kicker Jason Hanson (knee), tight end Casey FitzSimmons (ankle), running back Allen Ervin (ankle) and receiver Kenneth Harris (ankle) will not play.

Receivers Bryant Johnson (leg) and Dennis Northcutt (hand) will be game-time decisions.

I'm really hoping at least one of those two game-time decisions end up playing, as I'd like both quarterbacks to have decent receivers this week.  At least for Stafford's sake, I hope Keary Colbert isn't on the field until Culpepper comes in at QB.

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