CHICAGO –Any injury suffered Sunday was going to be difficult for the Detroit Lions with a short week in store for them as they have a quick turnaround for their annual Thanksgiving Day matchup less than four days away.
The only real injury of note for the Lions in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Bears was a knee injury suffered by Jamal Agnew in the second half. Agnew was down on the field for a couple minutes, and walked slowly off the field. He did not return.
Agnew is Detroit's primary punt and kickoff return man. In fact, he currently leads the NFL in punt-return yards, average and touchdowns (2). Agnew has also played an increasing role on offense.
"I'm not certain to be honest with you," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of the severity of the injury after the game. "I'm not real certain. He's walking around decently coming in. So, we'll see."
That's certainly good news in the short term. We'll have to see how the knee feels Monday and see whether or not Agnew can turn it around and play on a short week.
The Lions had Ameer Abdullah return the one kickoff the Lions had after the Agnew injury. They did not return a punt.
If Agnew can't play Thursday vs. Minnesota, Golden Tate, TJ Jones and others have experience returning punts.
PASSING HIS HERO
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed his boyhood hero on the all-time career passing list Sunday.
Stafford threw for 299 yards, upping his career total to 33,063. He passed former Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who had 32,942 career passing yards.
"It's cool. It's awesome." Stafford said of passing Aikman. "Guy I grew up watching. I have a lot of respect for him to this day. He was a great player. He's done a great job with his current (broadcast) career.
"It's cool. I'll look back on it when it's all said and done and hopefully get some time to think about it, but at the moment I have a game in 36 hours, or whatever it is, so I'm trying to get ready for that one."
The next big name Stafford can pass on the career list is Steve Young (33,124).
The biggest offensive drive for the Lions – other than the one at the end that set up Matt Prater's 52-yard field goal -- came right before the end of the half, and showed the true potential for the Lions' passing game with all of its pieces on offense back.
Following a Chicago punt, the Lions started 1st and 10 at their 28-yard line, trailing 17-14. Stafford moved the ball down the field completing 6-of-7 passes for 66 yards. He capped it off with a 2-yard pass to Ameer Abdullah to give the Lions a 21-17 halftime lead.
The most impressive part about the drive is that Stafford completed passes to Kenny Golladay (12 yards), Golden Tate (10), Marvin Jones Jr. (24), Tate (6), Eric Ebron (14) and Abdullah for the score. Theo Riddick ran once for four yards to set the Lions up at the 2-yard line.
That utilizes just about all of Detroit's top weapons on offense, minus TJ Jones, who caught four passes for 55 yards in the game.
There was a lot of excitement this week about seeing the Lions five starters upfront along the offensive line together for the first time this season Sunday.
After one game, it appears the chemistry isn't there just yet. The Lions struggled to open running lanes (2.7 rushing average). The Bears' defense had six tackles for loss, three sacks, and hit Stafford seven other times.
Offensive line play is all about chemistry and playing together. It's obviously good to have all five starters back, but there's some improvement to be made on a short week with one of the best defenses in the NFL coming to town Thursday in the Vikings.