Matthew Stafford Injury Update: More Thumb Damage Than Expected?

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford during a 2016 game with a hand injury.

The Detroit Lions now have a significant problem the rest of the way in 2020 as it relates to Matthew Stafford’s long term health.

Stafford, who has a thumb injury, now has the issue of a partial ligament tear to worry about according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network after further testing this week revealed the problem. While the injury is serious in nature and the team will watch him throw during the week, it’s not expected to impact his ability to start this weekend in Week 11.

Obviously, ligament damage is bad news for Stafford and the Lions. This means the injury is likely to linger the rest of the way this season and remain an issue moving forward. That is true even if Stafford is able to navigate the trouble successfully.

Notably, Stafford wasn’t impacted by the injury much in the moment on Sunday and still led Detroit to the last second win. Whether that is different this week is anyone’s guess, so it will be interesting to see how he does in practice and if the Lions can get him recouped in time to feel better for action.

Initial Matthew Stafford Injury News Good

Stafford was examined and eventually taped up during the game, and it didn’t impact his ability to sling the football around late in the 30-27 win. That didn’t mean that Stafford felt great after the fact, however, which he admitted after the game had been played.

As a result, the Lions checked Stafford out following the win, but the good news is the quarterback is looking healthy and his injury isn’t serious as feared at all. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network earlier this week, Stafford’s x-rays were negative and there isn’t much concern about his injury moving forward.

The Lions face a quick turnaround following Week 11 to Week 12 in the form of their Thanksgiving Day game, so it will be interesting to see how much time Stafford has to miss in practice as a result. The Lions will have to navigate this tactfully given the usual turn their schedule takes this time of year.

Matthew Stafford’s Thumb Injury History

During the game against Washington this past weekend, Stafford appeared to bang his thumb. After the play, he showed some signs of being in distress so the team taped up the thumb in real time. Stafford didn’t appear to be hampered by the injury at all, which was the good news considering the Lions needed him to throw the ball around plenty in order to secure the big win.

This is hardly the first time Stafford has had an injury to his throwing hand. A few years back, Stafford actually had a similar injury which was much worse that required him to wear an apparatus and gloves during games. The Lions struggled during that time, so hearing that this particular injury isn’t that bad is good news for the Lions all things considered.

Nevertheless, as a result of this history, Lions fans had to have their hearts skip a beat when they saw Stafford getting his thumb examined on the sidelines during the game and heard he would be getting it looked at afterward. Recent history has taught them this can be a very bad thing.

They will have to watch and see how bad the damage really is moving forward.

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