Okay. I'm developing a pet-peeve.
Seriously. "If he stays healthy" is IMO, the absolute dumbest thing somebody can say about an NFL player. That is an OBVIOUS assumption that is made whenever ANYBODY says ANYTHING predictive about an NFL player.I understand there is an underlying fear of Stafford being hurt again. But I'm not worried about it, and even if I was, it is irrelevant. In all honesty, it's stupid to waste time thinking about. We have a decent backup in Hill and even Stanton has proven he can come in and win games. Sure there are arguments that can be made for upgrading the o-line (depending on what side of the argument you're on), but I think steps are being taken by our FO, I think we'll be okay this year, and I believe it will be addressed in the next offseason. My point is, the Lions are already doing everything they can to be prepared if Stafford goes down again, so what is the use in constantly bringing Stafford's health history in every statement about the Lions?
Just for some comparison, I have yet to hear this same caveat when referring to Peyton, and he is CURRENTLY injured! It's ridiculous. Everything I hear about Peyton is he'll miss maybe a few weeks, and can the Colts survive the short time without him. Not "they'll be fine when he comes back, if he can stay healthy."
Also, and perhaps more relevant, for those of you saying Peyton has played for years in the league and has proven he is an iron man, I haven't heard a "if he stays healthy" regarding Sam Bradford, who had the SAME EXACT procedure on his shoulder as Stafford, and had previous to that, exactly ZERO years of being an "iron man". It was just a matter of whether his shoulder healed, not if he was gonna separate the other shoulder, or mess up his knee or something when he started in the NFL.
And when Tom Brady missed an entire season there wasn't a fear he'd get hurt again, as much as there was a question of whether he could return to the high level of play he had before the injury. (I guess the answer to that was a "yes") Hell, even Calvin Johnson has only played all 16 games 1 of his 4 years with detroit.
All of the "if he stays healthy" crap regarding Stafford is really beginning to piss me off. We all know he's been hurt. We all know if he goes down this year again there will be a much larger problem than just a backup QB starting some games. I agree if that happens, that's when this becomes a major problem. But something I feel a lot of people are forgetting:
Our QB is healthy NOW!!
With the "Not For Long" nature of the NFL, I fail to see why people don't appreciate the fact that Stafford is ready to go right now, and by all accounts is looking good. Perhaps us Lions fans are too used to having to look to the future for hope. Perhaps I am a bit too much of an existentialist. But anybody who plays fantasy football can tell you how frequently injuries happen in this league. To be obsessed over one player's chances based entirely on what many consider to be freak occurrences just doesn't make any logical sense. And for everybody saying that Stafford has multiple injuries as opposed to Bradford, and Manning: seriously, if anybody can show me stats or some other proof that one injury significantly increases chances of another unrelated injury (as was the case with our Matthew) I'd seriously like to see it, cause I honestly don't believe that is the case. (I have no idea how or where to look that up, tho)
Now I know many of you will say Stafford needs to prove himself, as this fanpost by MisterEK explored a few weeks ago. He needs to prove he can play a whole season before you will agree Stafford is not just about to get injured. However, what is one season? That seems like a pretty arbitrary amount of time. How about 2 seasons? 5? 10? How many seasons did Stafford play without injury before this? Those numbers are ALL arbitrary. Truth is, there isn't truly an amount of time after which one can say for sure "Stafford is NOT gonna get injured". Perhaps after 10 years, you can say it with more conviction but not really with any more certainty.
If he is playing, he is playing. Period.
Bottom line is: Stafford is our QB. We're not about to draft him, we've drafted him. We're not gonna cut him. And we're not gonna trade him. Health issues are irrelevant. He's the starter, if he does get hurt, we put in Hill. It is that simple. If we were about to draft him his injury history should be considered, but he's already on the team, people. It's time to get behind our QB for however long he is our QB. If he DOES get injured, we'll revisit this next year.
"If he stays healthy" is not only a total waste of 4 words under the guise of clarity, (since smart people assume it anyway) it is making a problem out of what I consider nothing. (For more examples of this, see: articles about Suh being a "dirty" player, Burleson's comments about the workouts in Detroit, etc)
To be totally honest with you guys, I'm more concerned about other Lions like Jahvid Best and Jason Fox. These guys have been consistently hurt going back to college. Stafford has said he's fine. The doctors have said he's fine. Instead of assuming the doctors are wrong until Stafford proves it, I'm gonna assume the doctors are RIGHT until Stafford disproves it.
In closing, if you're gonna use "if he stays healthy" after statements for any NFL player you must also include it after similar statements for ALL players. As it is equally applicable to ALL of them.
Except maybe players like Daunte Culpepper who won't see the field- but even those guys could get hurt at practice. Besides, if last year was any indication, 49er's fans will be chanting for Daunte come week 8. (And then for somebody else week 9. ...Maybe Garrard?)
I feel better.
Now, if I can just get Warren Sapp to stop blaming Backus...
(That is, of course, if Warren Sapp stays healthy)