Wednesday, the Lions placed Stafford on the COVID-19/Reserve list, meaning Stafford will now have to be monitored ahead of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 4, 2020
The important thing to remember here is Stafford was flagged with being in close contact with a person who also has COVID-19. Now, the watch will be on to see if Stafford can play in the game or not.
As of now, my understanding is it’s uncertain whether #Lions QB Matthew Stafford will be able to play Sunday against the #Vikings. If he landed on the list because of high-risk close contact, it’d depend when the contact occurred, since there’s a mandatory five-day isolation.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 4, 2020
This isn’t the first time the Lions have had an issue with Stafford. He was a false positive earlier this season and returned to the team. It will be interesting to see if he gets green lighted to play Sunday.
In Stafford’s absence should it occur, the team is likely to start veteran quarterback Chase Daniel. Daniel was signed this offseason for a reason just like this, given the uncertainty that always seemed to shroud the 2020 year with the NFL and particularly Detroit.
Lions Have Another COVID-19 Case
This concern wasn’t the only one for Detroit, though. Tuesday, the Lions placed linebacker Jarrad Davis on the COVID-19/Reserve list. Being placed on the list also doesn’t mean Davis has the coronavirus of course, but he could have been exposed to someone who was infected and now has to be monitored for symptoms. According to a report from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the cases of Stafford and Davis aren’t related.
The Lions continue to struggle with health, and now the COVID-19 issue adds a new wrinkle to that mix. Detroit was already expected to be without Kenny Golladay and Trey Flowers in Week 9 and have not been able to get Desmond Trufant back in the mix after he sustained a hamstring injury early in the season. Their injury report this week is also extensive.
The issues of Davis and Stafford only compounds this fact for the team, and they will have to face down the injury troubles as well as potential illness playing out starting this week.
Right now, it’s less about the health of the game and more about the health of the players as the Lions push into an unconventional Week 9 tangle with Minnesota.
Lions Have Avoided COVID-19 During 2020
The Lions have had a very clean season halfway through in terms of their own abilities to keep healthy. Earlier this season, the team had multiple players on the COVID list early in training camp, but managed to get everyone healthy in order to start the season on time and clean. Perhaps the team’s most notable COVID-19 case was one that didn’t even materialize, as Matthew Stafford tested positive and then was quickly deemed a false positive by the league, drawing a strong response.
The hope now is the Lions can keep these players healthy while also finding a way to compete in their upcoming game. The focus will shift to seeing if Stafford can remain healthy in time to play.