He dealt with them last year too, but was able to play through a broken finger and a badly sprained ankle to start every game a season ago.
That experience last season of being able to block out the pain and play through injury could serve him well this week as he tries to get back on the field Sunday after suffering a hip injury in a loss to the Titans last week.
"Everything that you go through in this league is a learning process: whether you're dealing with injuries, whether you're dealing with a win streak, a losing streak, adversity, good times, experience going against certain personnel, certain teams," Stafford said Wednesday. "Everything in this league is a learning process."
Stafford wasn't on the practice field Wednesday as the Lions started to get ready for the Vikings, but said after practice he felt better Wednesday than he did Sunday, and is taking it day by day.
If Stafford can't play Sunday, the Lions will call on experienced backup
But after watching Stafford's body language on Wednesday and witnessing him play through pain last season, it would be surprising if he wasn't on the field Sunday against the Vikings.
"I'm getting better," he said. "I'm taking it day by day trying to get better."
'REAL REFS' ARE BACK THIS WEEKEND?
When Stafford found out about reports that surfaced Wednesday saying the NFL and the replacement officials have come to a tentative agreement on a new contract, his immediate reaction was, "Sweet!"
So much meaning in just one word.
"It wasn't a distraction but you just noticed it in the game," he said of the replacement refs. "It wasn't like something where you're thinking about the game plan and then you're like, 'oh yeah we have replacement refs.' That wasn't part of it.
"You just noticed that the pace of the game, hashes would get switched on quarter changes, just little things that you just don't want to have to deal with during a game that you had to deal with."
The Lions dealt with an officiating snafu in Sunday's 44-41 overtime loss to the Titans, when officials marked off a 27-yard penalty for what should have been a 15-yard personal foul against linebacker
The error gave the Titans the ball at the Lions' 29-yard line, and they kicked the eventual game-winning field goal seven plays later.
"Well, hey it's a good thing. I can tell you that, yeah, if it's final and they are (back) I'm sure a lot of people will be happy," Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said in a conference call Wednesday.
"I'll be one of those guys too. Not to take anything from the refs that took over, but I think what it is with them is they're just trying too hard, you know? They can get it done but they've just been trying too hard and it's been causing them to make some pretty bad calls, I can say that."
Two days after a controversial call cost the Packers a win on Monday Night Football, the NFL and the referees' union reportedly are nearing an end to a lockout that put replacement officials on the field with the start of the season.
According to reports, the NFL and the union are close to a new deal that would allow the league's regular officials to return, possibly as early as this weekend.
"That's good, real good," said Lions defensive tackle
FAIRLEY'S DAY IN COURT
A lawyer for Lions defensive tackle
Fairley was charged with driving under the influence and attempting to elude police in May. His Baldwin County District Court trial was set to start Wednesday morning, but his attorney Sid Harrell instead filed paperwork requesting Fairley attend an anti-DUI course after stipulating to a first-time DUI, according to the report.
Fairley did not want to comment on the issue after practice Wednesday because the case was still pending.
The Vikings got a very explosive part of their offense back this week after receiver Jerome Simpson finished serving a three-game suspension last week.
Simpson was signed this offseason to be the explosive down-field threat in the Vikings' offense.
"He'll give us that vertical threat that has been absent from our offense," Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said in a conference call. "We'd like to be able to get some explosive plays down the field and I think he gives us a chance to get that done. That was one of the reasons we signed him in the offseason so we look forward to having him on the field."
For head coach Jim Schwartz and the Lions, the element of the unknown with how Simpson will be used in the Vikings' offense is something they'll have to prepare for this week.
"He has a body of work last year. We know what he's like as a player. I don't think anybody is going to be surprised if he leaps a couple yards from the goal line (laughter)," he said.
"Over the first three or four games of the season you get an idea of how people are going to use players, what roles they are going to use them in and we don't really have that. We know him as a player. We have a lot of respect for him as a player. He's a playmaker; has been throughout his career."