A hip ailment is the latest issue Stafford has to deal with, but the quarterback pushed through whatever pain he was feeling and excelled most of the afternoon in a duel with Patrick Mahomes.
After the game, Stafford was asked if his injury had anything to do with his back, which has been a cause of major concern for the team.
“No,” Stafford told the media flatly. That’s at the very least positive news for the Lions, considering they cannot afford to be without Stafford or have him hobbled much if at all. This offseason, DetroitLions.com reporter Mike O’Hara revealed Stafford had played with broken bones in his back late in 2018.
If something like that wouldn’t even stop Stafford from playing, there was no chance this latest issue was going to slow him down and keep him from a battle of two unbeaten teams.
“I was OK, I was out there, I was playing. I’ve played through a lot in my career. Like I say, work a long time to get opportunities to go out there and play. I don’t take anything for granted. Obviously it was a big game at home for us, they’re all big. And I wanted to be out there for my guys,” he said.
The injury didn’t seem to hamper Stafford’s mobility much if at all during the game. He finished 21-34 for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. Better yet, the quarterback even scrambled out of the pocket a few times to extend plays, rushing for 18 yards on the afternoon in spite of sustaining a few sacks. He even managed to get into the second level on a few exciting runs that charged up the Ford Field crowd.
“I thought I looked pretty good running,” Stafford quipped. “Every yard counts out there. I’m not going to do that every time. Broke the one tackle, broke the second one and was feeling like a football player. Decided to try and go for three. Didn’t work, but I want those guys on the sideline and in the huddle to know what I’m willing to do to help us win a game. I think they know that, and it sparked us a little bit.”
Naturally, Stafford was hardest on himself for the one mistake he did make, a fumble on the doorstep of the red zone.
“I thought Marvin Hall had a chance in the back of the end zone, at least a chance to throw it away. But I really should have probably eaten it for a sack there. Third and goal, chances of making that play not so good. Chances of Matt Prater making a chip shot field goal probably really good. Obviously disappointed I put the ball on the ground,” Stafford said.
For now, Stafford will get some much needed rest for his hip during the bye week and try to heal. At the very least, fans should remain encouraged that their quarterback continues to refuse to back down, even in the face of surprise injuries that come up.