Per Ian Rapoport, Lions fans may be getting a early holiday miracle as Matthew Stafford appears to be the starter heading into the game on Sunday.
“In a dramatic turn, #Lions QB Matthew Stafford (ribs) is now preparing to play tomorrow vs the #Titans, sources say,” Rapoport Tweeted on Saturday morning.
In the Friday injury report, Stafford was listed as Questionable after missing practice but was conspicuously not ruled out for Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans. While the prognosis did not look good early for Stafford’s painful rib cartilage injury, the team held out hope throughout the week that the situation could improve to the point where their starting quarterback could play.
The team signed Jordan Ta’amu to the practice squad earlier in the week in case the gametime decision ends up sitting Stafford down against the Titans, but some of the beat writers do not seem too surprised that the tough-as-nails quarterback may indeed play. From MLive’s Kyle Meinke:
The Lions have said all week the pain was getting better, Matthew Stafford was trending up, and that it would be a gametime decision. He even practiced yesterday. It is not surprising if he plays.
Bevell seemed much more optimistic yesterday and he was listed as limited in the report (though he did nothing when reporters were there) https://t.co/JEiIvtVOSI— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 19, 2020
As ESPN’s Michael Rothstein pointed out, though, Stafford would be playing without his top wide receiver or starting center. Even if an injured Stafford manages to start Sunday’s game, the absence of Frank Ragnow will be huge since protection will be paramount.