Detroit Lions interim head coach started off his Monday press conference with a much-anticipated update on quarterback Matthew Stafford after he left Sunday’s game against the Packers early with a rib injury.
“You guys know how tough Matthew is,” Bevell said. “This will be a deal where we’ll take it to the end of the week. He’s a little bit better this afternoon than he was this morning. So we’ll see how it goes and how he can progress.”
On a fourth quarter play, Stafford scrambled up the middle, but was taken down from behind and tackled from both sides. Though he finished the drive, Stafford would not return after, despite testing out his ribs on the sidelines multiple times.
The good news is that his post-game x-rays were confirmed negative. However, Bevell said they’re going to wait until the end of the week to make a decision on his status for Week 15’s game against the Tennessee Titans. For the Lions, they need Stafford to show two things before clearing him to play.
“It will be, basically, performance based. We’ll see if he’ll be able to function at a high enough level, One, to perform well, and two, to be able to protect himself,” Bevell said on Monday.
As a former quarterback himself, Bevell said the left part of his ribs—the side that Stafford has injured—is a little more critical to the throwing motion.
“On your left side, you use that a little bit more than your right side,” Bevell said. “So we’ll just have to monitor it and see how he’s feeling and see how much he can push through it or not.”
For now, it sounds like backups Chase Daniel and David Blough will get opportunities in practices early in the week to prepare for the Titans, with a possibility of Stafford working his way onto the practice field late in the week. Though Daniel has only started five career games in a career that’s spanned just over 10 years—and Blough is only in his second season in the league—Bevell expressed his confidence in both.
“(Blough) played five games for us last year, and he played at a high level,” Bevell said. “He’s only better from all the preparation that he has another year in the system.”
“I thought Chase did a nice job coming into the (Packers) game in that situation,” Bevell said of Daniel. “It’s always a tough situation, and he was able to get us down there and get us some points.”
Bevell also confirmed the earlier report that Jeff Okudah will have surgery on Tuesday, and the Lions will place him on injured reserve later in the week.