As the saying goes, something’s got to give. This week, in a battle of two teams heading in similar directions, the Lions are remarkably favored to win the game going on the road to face Washington. According to an early look at lines, Detroit is nearly a 2.5 or 3 point favorite heading into the contest.
The Redskins have not had a great season and recently lost by 17 points to the New York Jets, who are also a hapless team early on in the season. That’s bad news for the Redskins, but it could be good news for folks who want to see the Lions get things turned around and win a game or two before it’s too late this year.
NFL Doctor on Matthew Stafford’s Injury
A big reason the Lions aren’t more overwhelming favorites? The injury to quarterback Matthew Stafford. He 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 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 of rest against a hapless opponent 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.
This week, the injury was revealed to be a longer scope back injury than first thought by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Even still, Stafford could be back soon, but his status will be in question this week.
2020 NFL Draft Implications for Lions vs. Redskins
While neither team has any type of inside track at the playoffs, what could be at play is draft positioning. The Lions as of last week were inching toward a top 10 pick. With another loss, they could likely pick up even more ground, something which should be considered at this point for the team given where things have gone.
Washington, meanwhile, probably doesn’t want to lose their grip on a top overall selection in what has become a lost season in many ways for their team. Whomever wins the game is going to be set back a tiny bit in terms of the draft positioning. Lions fans might not want to hear it, but a loss might not be the worst thing in the world at this point in time for the team for many reasons, this being the top one.
Coming into this game, the Lions are favored narrowly, but by the time the game ends, that might not mean much at all.
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