Late Saturday, it was revealed the quarterback had been placed on the COVID/Reserve list for the team. Stafford is the highest profile player to make the list for the Lions in recent days given his position on the team. He also becomes the first quarterback in the league to crack the list in 2020.
ESPN’s Field Yates was first to break the story:
Lions QB Matthew Stafford has been placed on the reserve/COVID list, per source.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 1, 2020
Stafford will now join 7 of his teammates in having to wait to be cleared in order to get back into the mix for the team moving forward.
Matthew Stafford Played ‘Best Football’ During 2019
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky went back and watched the tape from early in the 2019 season when Stafford was healthy. What he found was a quarterback that he thinks was playing the best football in the entire league at that point at his position.
Go re-watch the first 8 games for the @Lions last year. Matthew Stafford was the best QB in football.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) July 22, 2020
Orlovsky’s take might be shocking to some. Quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and company had great seasons. Stafford was on their level until he suffered a back injury which cost him the second half of the year and a chance at team and personal success.
How good would Stafford have finished? Nobody knows, but it’s clear if the player that was around in the beginning of last season shows up in 2020, the team will benefit in a significant way. Hopefully, he can get healthy in time to do so.
T.J. Hockenson, Kenny Golladay Land on COVID/Reserve List
Wednesday, Detroit placed 5 players on the COVID/reserve list. The biggest names were wideout Kenny Golladay, tight end T.J. Hockenson, cornerback Amani Oruwariye and punter Arryn Siposs. The final player was safety Jalen Elliott.
Not only is John Atkins opting out of the season, but the Lions have also placed Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning both have either tested positive for the virus or been in close contact with an infected person.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 29, 2020
The news doesn’t mean that all the players were positive, of course. They may have been in contact with another person who was infected. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Siposs was positive but asymptomatic which means he could theoretically be back sooner.
Detroit will have to monitor these players as well as the rest of their roster to see what happens in the coming days.
Justin Coleman Placed on COVID/Reserve List
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, cornerback Justin Coleman was added to the list on Thursday afternoon. He’s the third key Lions starter that has been sent to the list in the last few days.
The #Lions are placing CB Justin Coleman on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, source said. Coleman is asymptomatic and tested negative Tuesday before a positive test Wednesday.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 30, 2020
Additionally, the team placed tight end Isaac Nauta on the list as well, bringing their total of player to 7.
After Justin Coleman (who told me via text he is doing OK) and Isaac Nauta ended up on the COVID reserve list, that places seven Lions on the list — which means they've either tested positive for COVID or have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 30, 2020
Previously on Wednesday, the Lions had added 5 players to the list, so early on, they’ve seen plenty of action in terms of the coronavirus. Now, the step is for the team to sit back and wait for everyone to be cleared.
That’s Stafford’s goal now for the Lions, and the team will have to wait and see how quickly he might be able to get cleared to return.
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