If you thought Matthew Stafford was reconsidering the game of football or even just coming back to play this season after his latest back injury, you clearly don’t know Matthew Stafford.
On Monday, Stafford talked to the media for the first time since missing the Chicago Bears game on Sunday, breaking his streak of 136 consecutive starts. He made no qualms about it, he intends to play this year and is going to do everything in his power to make it happen.
“I’m going to do everything I can to be out there. You guys know that,” Stafford said. “I think that that’s just something that’s kind of going to be a decision probably week-to-week on whether or not I can make it out there, but I’m going to do everything I can to try and be out there as soon as possible.”
Last week, Stafford went through practice as he normally did. He was throwing the ball well, he was taking as many reps as he normally would—maybe even more, according to Stafford. But on Friday, the team did some “additional scanning” on Friday per head coach Matt Patricia and found results they did not like.
Though Patricia and Stafford decided to keep that medical information private, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Stafford had fractures in his back. The results caught Stafford by surprise.
“Yeah, it surprised me,” Stafford said. “Definitely had a bunch of discussions and a bunch of people look at it to try and see if there was anything I could possibly do to help my chances and play.”
The Lions had several meetings throughout the weekend, including one final one on Sunday morning. It was at that point that Patricia decided, with the consultation from his medical staff, that there was nothing they could do to allow Stafford to play safely.
“There was another conversation Sunday,” Patricia said. “So we had to meet again and go through that on Sunday morning and at that point we made the decision that it wasn’t safe, and we couldn’t figure out a way to do it.”
Stafford ultimately said the team made the “correct decision” but any conversations about sitting him long-term haven’t even crossed his mind at this point.
“That’s not my thinking at the moment. My thinking is to try to be out there as soon as I possibly can to help us win.”