The Lions have finally placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve, formally ending his 2019 campaign. Head coach Matt Patricia announced the decision during his Tuesday teleconference.
It was weeks in coming, with both Stafford himself desiring to play once more in 2019, and coach Matt Patricia refusing to rule out the possibility that the franchise star would appear at some point in December to spearhead a losing record. For Stafford, it seemed like the quarterback himself chafed at the very idea of not playing for a moment, a condition of restless competitive nature you can find in plenty of long-term NFL stars who have fought and clawed their way to a secure position.
But the news was nothing but inevitable. At 3-10-1 and no wins since a late October victory over the New York Giants, the writing was on the wall that Stafford was not needed to return this year. Stafford remained on the roster since his injury, but never dressed for a game.
The move comes within an hour of the news that Lions ownership announcing its intentions to stand by Patricia as head coach and Bob Quinn as general manager going into the 2020 season, with hopes that they will turn the franchise (currently at .317 win percentage under Patricia) into a playoff contender.
This is Stafford’s first time on IR in nine years. There are now two open spots on the Lions active 53-man roster. For the Lions, with two games to go in the 2019 campaign, David Blough remains the starting quarterback.