A week ago when he went down on the final offensive play of the Atlanta Falcons game, it looked unlikely that Matthew Stafford was going to start against the Denver Broncos. He had his ankle rolled on, and trainers were looking at both it and his knee. Stafford was hobbled and in a walking boot, and after not practicing with the first-team offense on Wednesday, the situation didn't look promising.
After Thursday and Friday, however, the chances of Stafford starting increased dramatically. Although he was limited on Thursday, he practiced with the first-team offense. On Friday, he fully practiced and was again taking first-team reps. Although Jim Schwartz declined to publicly announce a starter, all signs pointed to Stafford being the guy. As confirmed by Stafford himself today, that is in fact the case.
Stafford tells Ed Werder of ESPN that the third-year player will indeed start on Sunday, despite a sprained ankle.
By starting today, Stafford's bid to play all 16 regular season games stays alive. More importantly, the Lions will have their regular starter on the field. Although he has struggled in recent weeks, the Lions' best chance of winning is with Stafford at quarterback, so it's a good thing this ankle injury turned out to be something minor.