For the first time in his 11-year career, Matthew Stafford had to stand on the sidelines and watch as the Detroit Lions played in their second preseason game. Though he’s taken a preseason game off since entering the league, the second preseason game is typically the one in which he gets his feet wet.
Head coach Matt Patricia said after the game that he simply felt Stafford got all the work he needed to get done during the preceding week of joint practices with the Houston Texans:
“I think we had a lot of snaps out on the practice field that we felt were really good for us offensively,” Patricia said. “It felt like we had the work we needed to get in.”
Still, with the day off and the extra break in training camp the week before, some started to speculate that Stafford’s extra rest may be a result of a lingering injury, specifically the broken back he played through last year.
However, Stafford quickly put those rumors to rest on Monday afternoon. He was very short and to the point when answering questions about his back.
What are you doing to rehab or take care of your back?
“Not much, I’m just practicing.”
Is there any rehab?
“(jokingly) I do a little core routine. You wanna do the core with me one day?”
People are wondering if this (rest) is still related to the back...
“Oh no. Yeah, no, I feel good.”
Is your core routine any different than normal?
“No, it’s nothing too crazy.”
Did you have surgery on your back?
“I had no surgery, no.”
So if you take Stafford at his word, there is no injury concern as we head towards Game 3 of the preseason. Common sense would seem to suggest that Stafford will play in Friday’s game against the Buffalo Bills—finally burying concerns about his back for good—but Patricia was non-committal about his status when asked after Game 2.
“We’ll figure that out as we go through the week,” Patricia said. “We’ll grind it out this week and try to see where we’re at.”