No one should ever question Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's toughness. We get another example of just how tough the 12-year veteran is this week as he's active and expected to play today in Tennessee with a rib injury suffered last week vs. Green Bay.
Stafford suffered the rib cartilage injury in the fourth quarter of last week's game, and it prevented him from finishing the game. Stafford missed a lot of practice time this week, but interim head coach Darrell Bevell said that wouldn't prevent him from playing.
"(Brett) Favre was out 10-straight weeks, he was going to be out again, and he walks in the day of the game and says, 'I'm going,'" Bevell said Friday. "Guys like that, you give it to them, and they go. I feel like (Stafford's) in that same category. He could walk in Sunday and say, 'I don't care what anyone (is) saying. I'm going.' So, I'm going to let him go."
It appears that was the case in this instance.
One thing to watch early on for the Lions, however, will be the exchange between Stafford and whoever the Lions start at center with Frank Ragnow being inactive due to a throat injury.
Stafford missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was a limited participant Friday, which means he likely didn't get many reps with the new center this week.
The Lions have some options when it comes to the center position today in Tennessee. Veteran Joe Dahl has cross-trained there. He said this week he's ready if needed. The Lions could also shift rookie Jonah Jackson there and move around some players at guard, especially with Halapoulivaati Vaitai returning to action today after a stint on IR. Whoever the Lions tap to play center today, it will be interesting to see how the center/quarterback exchange goes early on.
Right tackle Tyrell Crosby is also inactive today due to an ankle injury. Vaitai has the ability to play either guard or tackle, and reserve tackle Matt Nelson has played pretty well this season when given the opportunity.
Detroit will also be down another cornerback with Darryl Roberts inactive with a hip injury. The team is already without Jeff Okudah and Desmond Trufant, who are both on IR. Detroit elevated cornerback Alex Myres from the practice squad on Saturday. He joins Amani Oruwariye, Justin Coleman and Mike Ford as the cornerbacks on today's active roster.
Joining Ragnow, Crosby and Roberts on Detroit's inactive list today are: Wide receiver Kenny Golladay, defensive end Kareem Martin, guard Logan Stenberg and running back Jonathan Williams.