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Report: Matthew Stafford to play vs. Buccaneers barring ‘unforeseen setback’

As long as things stay the course with Matthew Stafford’s injured throwing hand, the quarterback is expected to start in Week 14.

Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

So long as things keep trending in the same direction, the Lions should see their franchise quarterback take the field on Sunday according to a report late Saturday evening.

This report comes courtesy of the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who says that barring any “unforeseen setback,” Matthew Stafford will be under center for the Lions Sunday tilt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The tweet alludes to the steady improvement in the health of Stafford’s hand over the week, something documented by the local media when they had a chance to see Stafford throw during the portion of practice open to the media on Thursday. On Friday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press called his play “perfectly fine,” while Nate Atkins of MLive said his throws, on both short and deep routes, were “precise” during practice.

Of course, this report contains some serious hedging on Rapoport’s part, but it’s at the very least another piece of good news for a Lions team that desperately needs a victory in Week 14 to keep their playoff hopes alive.