There was a blood-soaked bandage on his left forearm, near the elbow. He began picking at a bandage around his left wrist. His throwing arm looked beat up too. It's no wonder he put on long sleeves for that press conference.
The big toe on his left foot was blue.
Two toes on his right foot were taped.
Players began filing out of the locker room, one after another, leaving behind bottles and trash and banana peels. But Stafford just kept sitting there in the corner, breathing just right, trying to soothe his battered ribs.
Five weeks later, nothing has changed. The Lions dropped another game to the Vikings. Matthew Stafford was broken and beaten, and had another appointment with the x-ray machine. And the Lions players continue to be somber and frustrated. Here's a sample of their reactions after the game.
Golden Tate, who clearly wears his emotions on his sleeve, looked despondent in the locker room:
Golden Tate just looks shellshocked every week. He doesn't know how to handle losing. Prime candidate to be totally lionized.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 25, 2015
To Tate's credit, he was much more upbeat and positive with his words, saying, "It’s tough on us right now, but we’ve just got to keep working. Stay together and keep moving together and there’s going to be change, it’s going to happen. We’ve just got to stay with it."
Though DeAndre Levy didn't play again on Sunday, he did have some strong words about the Lions' performance:
DeAndre Levy: "We got to figure out why we get to a certain point, and just, like ... stop f***ing up."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) October 25, 2015
Josh Bynes has seemed like the Lions' interim locker room leader while the defense was missing some key players, but Bynes was in no mood to rally the team after this loss:
Fledgling locker room leader Josh Bynes, decided to clean out his locker and walk past media waiting to talk to him today. That was nice.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 25, 2015
Eric Ebron wasn't about to accept any silver lining from his own performance:
Eric Ebron: "I'm not having a good season if we're not having a good season. We're losing and that's not (expletive) good."— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 25, 2015
But in the end, the emotion that stood out was befuddlement. The Detroit Lions are losing and no one can seem to figure out why:
Update from Lions locker room: No one has any answers for this game.— Carlos Monarrez (@cmonarrez) October 25, 2015