The Detroit Lions are entering the meat and potatoes of their schedule and if they are going to win their division for the first time in 23 years, they are going to have to play well in the next three weeks.
However, there is one big roadblock standing in their way right now. The finger injury to Matthew Stafford has the potential of completely derailing the Lions’ postseason hopes if the injury is severe enough.
Early reports are positive and we’ve seen some improvement both from the running game and the defense over the past few weeks to think that even if Stafford is a little limited by the injury, Detroit could compete when he’s not 100 percent. So today’s Question of the Day is:
How worried are you of Matthew Stafford’s finger injury?
My answer: 6/10. I was feeling better and better about this injury as we got further and further away from Sunday. Matthew Stafford made a radio appearance on Monday and downplayed the severity of the injury. On “The Mitch Albom Show” Stafford said “it really isn’t too bad.” He tried to prevent the flashbacks to his broken finger in 2011 by claiming this injury shouldn’t be as bad as that one.
But I have to say, I still have my doubts. Those doubts were only magnified when the Detroit Free Press’ Jeff Seidel went back and watched Stafford’s performance before and after the injury against the Bears. Here’s a snippet of his excellent breakdown:
Here were some of the phrases I wrote down as I watched the film: vastly underthrown (twice), sailed high, no touch, no zip, almost picked (twice), way short, low and outside, wobbled, batted down (twice) and intercepted (twice).
In retrospect, the Lions were lucky to win that game. I don’t know how offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter even called plays because Stafford couldn’t throw it deep, and he wasn’t much of a threat to throw beyond 10 yards.
Obviously, Stafford will now have the benefit of time to heal, time to adjust and prepare with the proper aides—whether it be a glove or splint or tape—but this team is built upon a foundation of Stafford. If Stafford is limited in any noticeable fashion, it hurts the Lions more than it would hurt any other team if their quarterback went through a similar injury. That’s why he’s an MVP candidate. And if your most valuable player is limited, it’s going to hurt.