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Lions injury report: Matthew Stafford returns to practice, team confident he’ll play

Have to imagine Stafford will play on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

In Week 15, Matthew Stafford only practiced once—a brief moment on a Friday after suffering a painful rib injury. He would end up playing that week, and putting up one of his best performances of the year against the Tennessee Titans.

This week appears to be progressing similarly. After suffering a ankle injury that took him out of Saturday’s game against the Buccaneers, Stafford did not practice on Wednesday, but was listed as limited on Thursday, despite interim head coach Darrell Bevell saying he would be out. Still, Bevell showed he was pretty optimistic about the Lions franchise quarterback giving it a go this week.

“You’re going to have to convince me a lot that this guy is not going to go,” Bevell said on Thursday. “He’s as tough as they come, tough as nails. He wants to be out there. I think, really, those two things are probably the most important. If the guy wants to—I always say this—I always say that your mind is a powerful thing. You can do a lot if you just believe in that. The guy wants it. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he won’t make it happen, but obviously, we’re going to continue to go through the week and see how it goes.”

In other words, you should probably expect to see Stafford suited up this week.

The outlook is also promising for the Lions’ offensive line, as Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow practiced for the second straight day, but Tyrell Crosby did not. If both trend towards playing this week, we could finally see what quickly became Detroit’s starting lineup on the offensive line:

LT: Taylor Decker
LG: Jonah Jackson
C: Frank Ragnow
RG: Halapoulivaati Vaitai|
RT: Tyrell Crosby

Unfortunately, the news isn’t as good for wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Again, he isn’t practicing, and Bevell said he does not expect the receiver to play again this year.

Here’s Detroit’s injury report for Thursday:

LB Jamie Collins Sr. (neck) - No practice
G Joe Dahl (back) - No practice
WR Kenny Golladay (hip) - No practice
WR Danny Amendola (not injury related) - No practice
OT Tyrell Crosby (ankle) - No practice *downgrade*
C Frank Ragnow (throat) - Limited practice
QB Matthew Stafford (thumb/rib/ankle) - Limited practice *upgrade*