Matthew Stafford Injury: Ailment’s Exact Severity Revealed

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford prior to a game.

Matthew Stafford has a back injury and the questions on when the Detroit Lions quarterback could return soon have swirled.

Initially, it seemed as if Stafford might only be set to miss a few weeks on the field. While that might be true, the exact injury Stafford is dealing with is a bit more severe.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Stafford’s back injury is a minimum six week injury, even though it might not end up keeping him off the field that long. Here’s what Schefter wrote on the matter:

“Doctors recently told Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that the fractured bones in his back are a six-week injury, league sources told ESPN.

This doesn’t mean Stafford will be sidelined six games, but it does provide a glimpse into the severity of the injury that he has played through before the Lions’ doctors denied him from playing last week against the Chicago Bears and Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, according to a source.

But Detroit also knows that this type of injury would sideline most players six weeks, if not longer. It is another testament to Stafford’s toughness; he had started 136 straight games before last week’s absence, the sixth-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history.”

Stafford has been assumed to be out at the most through the month of November, although different theories have held that he might come back sooner given he might push himself to return. Now, however, it will be interesting to see how the Lions proceed given a bit of a longer timetable and a more severe ailment.

NFL Doctor on Matthew Stafford’s Injury

Stafford is continuing to recover from a back injury which is costing him time, but according to former NFL doctor David J. Chao, a return could be in order very soon in the next couple of weeks.

Chao took to Twitter to explain that Stafford’s season is not done. Far from it, in fact. He believes Stafford could start in another few weeks, possibly even by Thanksgiving Day or sooner.

Detroit plays the Washington Redskins next week, then the Chicago Bears the Thursday after on Thanksgiving. If Stafford is cleared for Sunday, it’s possible he could play Thursday as well. Either that, or the Lions could prefer to squeeze out one more week before starting him for Thanksgiving.

At the very least, while Stafford might have a more serious injury, it will be interesting to see exactly when he decides to return to practice and suit up on the field again.

Matt Patricia has had Stafford on the field this week even though he wasn’t dressed, so it’s possible he might be getting on the right track to perhaps return soon.

Matthew Stafford’s Initial Timetable

After Stafford was revealed to be sidelined with the ailment, ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained that while the injury could be shorter term in nature, the likelihood is that it would be a week by week thing the Lions would have to watch. Here’s a look at what he wrote:

“Stafford is now considered week-to-week with an injury that one source said could sideline him for “this week or 3 weeks.” Stafford had started 136 consecutive regular-season games entering Sunday, the sixth-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history.”

Before the injury, Stafford was rolling along and having an MVP caliber season. Safe to say that all of this puts a major damper on that, no matter how much time Stafford is to miss. Stafford is a warrior however, and has never been shy about trying to play in the past through the pain.

Previously, Chao had said after looking at video of the purported injury, what Stafford is facing is a short term painful injury. Still, it’s not something which is long term, nor has any immediate impacts on the spinal cord. That’s good news not simply for Stafford the player, but Stafford the person.

Obviously, the major hurdle for him moving forward will be finding a way to get cleared by the medical staff for any type of return in the month of November with this news.

Matthew Stafford’s Injury

Listed on the report with a hip and back ailment, Stafford picked up the back injury while playing the Oakland Raiders. The hip trouble had been lingering since the Kansas City game, but Stafford had found a way to play through the pain of that, and was actually looking better on the injury report in the weeks since. The back injury limited him in practice most of the week leading up to the Chicago game, casting doubt on whether he’d actually play. Reports in the hours before hinted Stafford could be in trouble, and the decision was quickly made to sit him down on Sunday morning ahead of the game against the Bears.

Late last season, Stafford dealt with broken bones in his back as well and played through the pain, and the back injury in consecutive seasons has become a troubling trend for the quarterback. With the Lions depending on Stafford in not just the present but the future, they will have to be careful about how they proceed in this case.

That’s especially true given how severe the injury might actually be below the surface.

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