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Fan fiction: Lions clinch division after Packers forfeit, NFL suspends entire Vikings team

In this alternate dimension, the Lions are playoff bound!

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Detroit Lions fan fiction. After every Lions loss, we like to pull a story from a more optimistic dimension in the hopes that it creates some levity and release after a frustrating loss. If we can’t laugh at the Lions, certainly we will die. Here is this week’s version:

NEW ORLEANS—The Detroit Lions lost to the New Orleans Saints, but it turns out that didn’t matter. The Lions have clinched the NFC North in Week 7—the earliest a team has their division in NFL history.

It all started in Minnesota, when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr drove Aaron Rodgers shoulder-first into the turf after Rodgers had attempted a pass. Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone and the Packers announced that he will undergo surgery.

The surgery will not only end Rodgers’ season, but head coach Mike McCarthy announced that the injury will end the Packers’ season. “Today, we are placing the entire team on injured reserve,” McCarthy said in a shocking Tuesday morning press conference. “This team has been entirely reliant upon that man’s shoulder for the past decade. If he’s out, we’re out.”

With the Packers officially out of contention for the 2017 season, it seemed like the NFC North was down to the Lions and Vikings, but the NFL stepped in and made an unprecedented move on Sunday.

“We have suspended the entire Vikings organization indefinitely, effective immediately,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in an announce that interrupted all of the 1 p.m. ET games. “The shield must protect our Golden Child against all who try to harm him.”

“The Vikings have had a reputation of trying to injury quarterbacks,” Goodell continued. “We were told the Vikings took cheap shots at Matthew Stafford and the Lions a few years ago, but we never bothered to look into it. However, we feel this attack on Aaron is an affront to the league, and we will not tolerate such behavior.”

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer did not offer a verbal response, but during a silent Monday morning press conference, the redness of his complexion can be roughly translated—using the Mike Shanahan Color Scale—into the following statement:

“To quote the esteemed philosopher Nevin Lawson: ‘Fuck Aaron Rodgers.’

Goodell confirmed with Pride of Detroit that the Vikings suspension will at least carry out through the rest of the 2017 season. “We hate to benefit the Lions,” Goodell said in a written statement. “But the Packers NFL safety comes first.”

So the Lions enter their bye week just 3-3, but with the NFC North wrapped up. Jim Caldwell has already announced to the media that Matthew Stafford will continue to play every single snap of every single game this season, regardless of whether there is anything to play for or not.

“He’s a competitor,” Caldwell said. “Even if he’s competing for nothing, I need him out there. He’s basically all I have going for me right now.”

We’ll see how Caldwell uses the rest of the roster, as Detroit is pretty banged up everywhere. Against the Saints, the Lions were forced to bring Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus out of retirement to play tackle. “We were going to bring in Corey Hilliard, but he didn’t pick up,” Caldwell said.

When the Lions come back from the bye, they’ll face the 4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers. But with the division already wrapped up, there won’t be much at stake.

Hi, this is Jeremy from the dimension you’re reading this from. You’re probably wondering why there is no mention of the Chicago Bears in this story. In this alternate reality, they were relegated to the CFL after their 2016 season.

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