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Detroit Lions injury updates: Stafford won’t need surgery, Abdullah expects to be ready by spring

As the Detroit Lions players cleaned out their lockers, we got one last set of injury updates.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions hobbled across the finish line of the 2016 season after, like any other team, dealing with a myriad of injuries. Seasons were lost, backups were called upon, and backups of backups were thrust into starting roles.

Monday morning, most of the Lions roster was back at the team’s practice facility in Allen Park to wrap up the season and clean out their lockers. They also met with the media for a short period of time. Injuries were a hot topic amongst the media, so here’s a quick update on some of the bigger injuries the Lions dealt with in 2016.

Matthew Stafford

Stafford reiterated that his finger was never broken, and he doesn’t believe it will require surgery. As Stafford said on Saturday night, this is the type of injury that requires one thing: rest.

However, there were reports over the past week or so that Stafford’s injury was a “mallet injury,” which is different than a simple dislocation. When asked about this, Stafford seemed to confirm those reports:

While the difference in diagnosis won’t affect his recovery, it does give us a better look at what he was dealing with. According to former NFL doctor David J. Chao, a mallet injury is much tougher to deal with as a quarterback:

“A mallet finger injury is significantly harder to deal with than a finger dislocation as it affects his grip since he is not allowed to bend the tip of his middle finger. This could explain his declined performance post injury.”

Ameer Abdullah

Abdullah was available to speak for the first time in months, and while he did not go into great detail on his injury, he reassured folks that he would be ready and up to speed in 2017.

Was he ever close to a return? Abdullah couldn’t—or wouldn’t—say.

Theo Riddick

Riddick’s injury remains one of the most peculiar among the Lions. No one could ever find when and where Riddick hurt his wrist, but that’s not even the most confusing part. The Lions kept Riddick on the normal roster for a few weeks, with Riddick insisting his wrist was not broken. Soon after, out of nowhere, the team placed him on injured reserve, ending his season.

The thought was maybe the doctors finally opted surgery was the best option for Riddick, but on Monday, Riddick said surgery never happened:

The cast Dave Birkett is referring to is a brand new hard cast that Riddick was sporting on his left wrist. Regardless of the true nature of his injury, Riddick said he’ll be back next year.

Travis Swanson

Swanson’s injury is the most concerning, both in the short term and long term. After suffering a concussion at some point during the Saints game, Swanson missed the final five games, including Detroit’s playoff contest against the Seahawks. Though Swanson made progress and eventually returned to practice, he was still not able to get back into the starting lineup, suggesting this was a severe concussion.

Concussions have forced many players to retire at an early age, and that was understandably a concern with Swanson among many, but by Swanson’s demeanor in the locker room, that doesn’t appear to be part of his plan going forward:

Obviously, concussions tend to be injuries that can reappear during one’s football career, so that is something to keep an eye on going forward. But, for now, it appears Swanson is content continuing his football career.

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