It’s not looking good for Matthew Stafford’s availability this week for the Dallas Cowboys game. The Detroit Lions quarterback missed his second straight practice on Thursday and appears unlikely to play this week after suffering a back injury against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9.
The injury, diagnosed as fractured bones in his back per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, caused Stafford to miss last week’s game—the first time he had missed a start in 126 straight games.
At this point, it looks like backup quarterback Jeff Driskel is on track to make his second consecutive start. On Wednesday, Driskel said he’s treating this week as any other.
“It’s business as normal,” Driskell said. “Take in as much information as you can, go practice it, look at it after practice, take it home, look at it some more, and be ready for tomorrow, third-down day.”
With the extra reps, Driskel admits it could help him be a little more prepared than last week, when the Lions weren’t truly concerned about Stafford’s status until a post-practice scan on Friday.
“Repetitions always help. I’ve been putting myself in position all year mentally to be ready when called upon, and getting a few extra repetitions here and there definitely helps,” Driskel said.
In addition to Stafford, Rick Wagner (concussion), Da’Shawn Hand (ankle), Damon Harrison Sr. (rest) and Tracy Walker (knee) missed Thursday’s practice.
Running back Ty Johnson (concussion) and defensive end Romeo Okwara (groin) returned to practice. A full injury report will be released Thursday afternoon.