Stafford (back/hip) said Monday that he'll be back to full health for the start of the Lions' offseason program in April, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Stafford was sidelined for the Lions' final eight games of the season after fracturing multiple bones in his back in a Nov. 3 loss to the Raiders. The quarterback said he's "pretty close to being back to normal" and won't require offseason surgery for his back or a lingering hip issue, putting him on pace to enter the 2020 campaign with few restrictions. Prior to getting shut down, the 31-year-old looked on his way to turning in the best season of his career, as he completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 8.6 yards per attempt and a 19:5 TD:INT through his eight starts.
Stafford (back/hip) agreed to convert a $6 million roster bonus into a signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN reports. The agreement clears up $4.8 million in 2020 cap space for the Lions, allowing for a bit more room to maneuver. Stafford is closing out the year on injured reserve but should be healthy long before training camp. Most of Detroit's key contributors on offense are under contract for at least one more year, with slot receiver Danny Amendola and starting right guard Graham Glasgow the notable exceptions.
Stafford (back/hip) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports. Stafford had been sidelined for each of the past six games with multiple fractures in his back in addition to a minor hip issue, but he maintained hope he would be able to make it back into action before the season ended. The typically durable veteran ultimately wasn't able to heal as quickly as he anticipated, prompting the Lions to shut him down for their final two games. With top understudy Jeff Driskel (hamstring) having previously moved to IR, the Lions will turn to David Blough and Kyle Sloter as their quarterbacks for the remainder of the season.
Stafford (back/hip) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Stafford will be inactive for a sixth consecutive week while recovering from multiple fractures in his back in addition to a more minor hip concern. With the 3-9-1 Lions eliminated from postseason contention, Stafford looks like a longshot to play in either of Detroit's final two contests, especially after coach Matt Patricia was noncommittal about the quarterback's availability the rest of the way when he discussed the matter Friday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Undrafted rookie David Blough will pick up another start under center in place of Stafford in Week 15.
Stafford (hip/back) didn't take part in Wednesday's walk-through practice. Stafford hasn't played or practiced since he was diagnosed with multiple fractures in his back prior to a Week 10 game in Chicago. A week ago, Stafford told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that the injury is healing "as it should," and he expects to suit up when he's cleared to do so, whether it's in one of the final three games of this season or in 2020. While Stafford remains embedded in rehab, the Lions will roll with David Blough under center, with Kyle Sloter the backup quarterback due to Jeff Driskel's (hamstring) presence on injured reserve.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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