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Report: Lions ‘not overly optimistic’ Matthew Stafford will play vs. Titans after rib cartilage injury

After suffering damage to his rib cartilage, Stafford’s chances of playing this week are low... but not zero.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford reportedly suffered a rib cartilage injury in the teams Week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Stafford suffered the injury late in the game, when he was hit from behind while scrambling near to goal line. He had to leave the game, and was replaced by quarterback Chase Daniel from that point on.

Per Fowler, the team is not “overly optimistic” that Stafford can play in Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans.

“We’re going to use all the resources that we have at our disposal,” interim head coach Darrell Bevell told reporters Monday about preparing Stafford to play next week. “The athletic training staff, we have doctors, and then obviously, he’ll have a big say in how he’s feeling.”

Stafford received an x-ray on his ribs earlier this week, and they returned negative for a broken rib.

The quarterback has a long injury history, though he has rarely missed games throughout his 12-year NFL career. He suffered a thumb injury in November that has bothered him since. He missed the latter half of the 2019 season with a back injury—the first time he had missed a game for the Lions since 2010. In 2016, he played through a serious hand injury late in the season. Stafford also separated his shoulder in his rookie season with the Lions.

If Stafford cannot play, then the team is likely to turn to backup Chase Daniel again. Daniel has started five games in his 12-year NFL career, three of them coming in the past three years while he was with the Chicago Bears. He signed with Detroit this offseason, and has featured in two games for the team.

“I thought Chase did a nice job coming into the game, and that situation is always a tough situation,” Bevell said of Daniel’s appearance against the Packers, “He was able to get us down there and get us some points, made a big throw on that conversion to [Marvin Jones Jr.].”

Third string quarterback David Blough, who started five games for the Lions in relief of Stafford last season, is an option to start as well.