Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is officially done for the season. The team placed Stafford on injured reserve Tuesday due to back and hip injuries, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The 31-year-old Stafford hasn’t played since Week 9 after suffering multiple fractures in his back. Stafford reportedly wanted to play through the injury initially, but the Lions’ medical staff would not clear him to return.
Prior to missing Week 10, Stafford had not missed a start since the 2010 season. After a disappointing 2018, Stafford got back on track in 2019, tossing 19 touchdowns against 5 interceptions in 8 games.
Both Jeff Driskel and David Blough have started games with Stafford sidelined. The Lions have gone 0-6 in those contests.
Following the team’s Week 13 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Lions were eliminated from the playoffs. With nothing to play for, the Lions have no reason to expose Stafford to addition injuries. The team can now allow their quarterback to fully heal over the offseason so it can be at full strength in 2020.
Stafford should return to a similar situation in 2020. Despite the Lions’ struggles — the team is 3-10-1 — head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn are expected to be back next season.
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