The Detroit Lions entered Week 10 with a lengthy injury report. Three players—Da’Shawn Hand, Tracy Walker and Miles Killebrew—were declared out before the weekend hit, and another eight entered Sunday morning as questionable to play.
Things only managed to get worse from there. Matthew Stafford missed his first career start in nine years, and a handful of players left Soldier Field with new injuries and did not return. Here are the latest statuses on some of those players.
As we all know by now, Stafford didn’t play on Sunday because of his new back injury. The injury occured on a hit late in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders.
I've been watching this replay from the final drive vs. the Raiders. I won't dare to declare which play Stafford fractured his back, but Stafford certainly put himself in a compromised position with 50 seconds left in the game. He's a warrior. https://t.co/fg7m62xyCn pic.twitter.com/1CHnHBjJf7— John Verros (@VerrosJohn) November 10, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Stafford has fractured bones in his back and that he could be sidelined for “this week or 3 weeks.”
What the doctors are saying:
The main consensus from doctors online is that Stafford most likely suffered a “transverse process fracture.” Here’s former Chargers doctor David J. Chao explaining what that means for his short and long-term status:
By video, consistent with transverse process fracture. No long term or spinal cord worries but a short term painful injury. Note how tough #MatthewStafford is to finish game and even practice some this week. https://t.co/X0Q9r3LrRN— David J. Chao (@ProFootballDoc) November 10, 2019
Chao further concludes that we should see Stafford back in the lineup soon.
“Given my experience with this type of fracture in the NFL, I think he will be back sooner than three weeks,” Chao wrote, noting also that this fracture does not actually need to heal. It’s simply a pain management thing.
What Matt Patricia is saying:
When asked about the healing process of broken bones, head coach Matt Patricia wouldn’t confirm the injury with reporters, but he did sound optimistic about an early return.
“I don’t want to get into the specifics of what that is, but there’s always different levels of kind of maybe some of that stuff when you look at it. We take it week by week or day by day from that standpoint.”
So it looks like Stafford could return as early as next week and should be able to play—at the latest—the end of November, should these diagnoses be accurate. The question is simply whether the Lions will bother bringing him back considering the status of their season.
RB Ty Johnson
Johnson took on a hit in the first quarter and did not return to the game. He was immediately evaluated by a neurologist and was declared out. It’s safe to assume he is in concussion protocol.
RT Rick Wagner
Same situation as Johnson. He was evaluated by a neurologist and declared out after taking a big hit on a third-down play. He will start the week in concussion protocol.
DT Mike Daniels
Daniels finally made his return to the lineup after suffering a foot injury in Week 3 of the season. However, he did not finish the game. The team didn’t announce a specific injury for Daniels.
However, it does appear he may have aggravated his foot injury. Justin Rogers of the Detroit News noted that Daniels “walked with a heavy limp” in the locker room, but told reporters he was fine.
Daniels also tweeted out “I’m fine” after the game, but soon after deleted the tweet.
DT Kevin Strong
Strong left the game after suffering a rib injury in the third quarter. He was shortly after declared out for the remainder of the game.
DT A’Shawn Robinson
Robinson left the game with a thumb injury and his return was deemed questionable. However, Robinson eventually did return and finish the game against the Bears. He entered the game questionable with an ankle injury, so we may see the coaching staff give the guy some rest after suffering another injury.