NOTEBOOK: Mathis, Houston injured in win; Stafford breaks record and more

Posted Sep 29, 2013

Tim Twentyman on Lions' injuries, DT Ndamukong Suh on holding, player safety and QB Matthew Stafford's passes

The Detroit Lions got a huge, 40-32, division victory over the Bears on Sunday, but lost starting cornerbacks Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis.

Mathis left the game in the first half after sustaining a head injury. He was downgraded after being reevaluated at halftime with a concussion.

It was reported after the game that Mathis passes the Lions’ concussion tests, but was held out because the Bear doctors and training staff, who first responded to Mathis on the field after he was hurt trying to tackle Bears running back Matt Forte, felt he briefly lost consciousness on the field.

Mathis will now be subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol and his status will be monitored this week for his availability in Green Bay next week.

Houston left in the fourth quarter with a leg injury and did not return.

"We had a lot of different injuries, but we had some guys step up and have to play," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "We didn’t do a good enough job finishing the game. We got the win and that’s the only thing we worry about."

The combination of rookie Darius Slay and second-year players Bill Bentley and Jonte Green finished the game for Mathis and Houston with mixed results.

The Bears attacked the youngsters late in the game and were able to crawl back because of it.


Ndamukong Suh admitted after the game that a holding penalty could probably be called on every single snap in the NFL.

That may be true, but head coach was certainly hoping a few more would have been called in this particular game.

"I can’t believe we didn’t get about a 100 holding penalties against them today," Schwartz said.

Suh was blatantly held on a number of occasions, and so was defensive end Willie Young, especially late in the game when the Bears were making their comeback.

"I think as a defense, and especially as a defensive line, we’ve gradually learned to play through that and understand that we’re not necessarily get calls," Suh said. "I’ve gotten calls and I appreciate them without question, but I’m not going to sit there and harp at a ref and say, ‘it’s a holding call, it’s a holding call’, I’m just going to keep playing – that’s all I’ve got to do."


Schwartz expressed his displeasure after the game with the fact that referees did not protect receiver Kris Durham during the last onside kick attempt of the game.

"Kris Durham made a couple big plays at the end, probably no bigger than recovering the last onside kick. He took a big shot for it too," Schwartz said.

"We talk a lot about player safety and he’s lying prone on the ground and is getting himself up and takes a helmet right to the back and we don’t get any call there. It’s a little hypocritical to talk about player safety when we allow that to not get called. Kris toughed it out and he had to hold on to that ball and he did. He did a nice job today."

Durham finished with three catches for 58 yards and recovered both Bears onside kicks at the end of the game.


Stafford completed 23 passes in the team’s win and became the first player in NFL history to record 1,200 completions in the player’s first 50 games. He also set a new NFL record for the most passing yards in a player’s first 50 games. Through 49 career games, Stafford has tallied 14,069 yards, breaking the previous mark set by Kurt Warner’s (13,864).

"I had no idea about that or that it was coming," Stafford said. "It’s probably something that I’ll look back on when I’m done and realize it was something pretty special."


NFL coaches split the season up into fourths.

After Sunday’s win vs. Chicago, the Lions conclude the first quarter of the season with a 3-1 record and sit atop the NFC North division. They won both home games (Minnesota and Chicago) and split on the road (loss to Arizona and a win in Washington) in the quarter.

The team will begin the second quarter of the season on the road in Green Bay and Cleveland. They’ll come home and get to the halfway point of the season -- and their bye week -- with home games vs. Cincinnati and Dallas.