The Detroit Lions lost Matthew Stafford to an unfortunate back injury in 2019, and after the quarterback sustained a similar injury in 2018, many folks are probably beginning to worry about his overall health and his future.
After two injuries in two years to one specific part of the body following a relatively healthy decade between 2010 and now, how could folks not? The NFL is a tough, physical game and routinely, players get put through the ringer in terms of their wellbeing. At a certain point, the physical burden can often become too much.
Stafford, though, is still a young man at age 31 and isn’t prepared to let a few simple injuries slow him down as he pushes forward on what he wants to be a long career. As he said this week, that’s the goal for the present and the future.
“I want to play for a long time, yeah,” Stafford said to the media. “I felt like I was playing really good ball this year. It was something that was kind of a freak deal that happened. Obviously got to take it in stride and listen to doctors, my body, coaches, everybody and kind of figure out what’s best. I was having a lot of fun playing when I was out there, wish I could be out there right now trying to win games. It’s just not the case.”
Truthfully, fans shouldn’t be concerned about two straight back injuries for the quarterback. As he said himself, the injuries were likely freak occurrences. Stafford’s durability lately has been unquestioned, and he has played through several other ailments when physically possible.
Matthew Stafford’s Statistical Resurgence
Stafford, re-invigorated by Darrell Bevell’s offense this season, has had a confidence and a swagger about him unlike ever seen before. He’s playing under control and making every single throw on the field. The stats tell the tale of a player who is enjoying a career resurgence in every sense of the word, and remaining amongst one of the most valuable players in the game as a result.
This season, prior to injury, Stafford had thrown 19 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions and has thrown for 2,499 yards, which was one of the higher totals in the league. His touchdown total is also amongst the league’s elite as well. While Stafford doesn’t have a “big win” to his credit this season, you’d be hard pressed to find someone more valuable to his team completely.
Simply, without Stafford, the Lions have evolved into one of the worst teams in the league. That’s usually the case when he is missing, but it looks to be even more the case this season. He saved the Lions with his ability to make plenty of throws, and has been the reason the team has been in position to win most of the games they have played thus far. Without Stafford, the Lions have fallen apart, which only shows the true value he brings to the franchise.
With Stafford putting up numbers better than ever before, there seems to be no sign of his body slowing down.
A Motivated Matthew Stafford Huge in 2020
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Stafford’s near future other than an offense he was excelling in is a killer mindset. When Stafford does return, he will be out to prove that he is healthy and ready to embark on a dominant season.
In the past, Stafford’s mindset has been one of the best in the league. When he’s on, there are few better than Stafford at playing with an edge and playing with fire. He’s going to come back stronger mentally after the injury and could be more motivated than ever in order to have a great season.
Short of another freak occurrence playing out, there is simply no reason to sweat Stafford’s return, whether it happens late in 2019 or early in 2020.
READ NEXT: Glover Quin Opens Up About Lions 2019 Season