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NOTEBOOK: Stafford taking it day by day after suffering right thumb injury

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford considers himself day-to-day after suffering a right thumb injury in Sunday's win over Washington.

Stafford suffered the injury early in the contest, but played through it. He taped it up and finished the contest, throwing three touchdown passes to help Detroit secure the victory.

Stafford said the injury felt worse Monday after the adrenaline wore off, and he's really in a situation where he's going to do what the trainers advise and see what it feels like before determining if he can play Sunday in Carolina.

"Just going to do what I can to try and be out there," Stafford said Wednesday. "We'll see. Just trust in what our doctors say and what our trainers do to try and help get it as good as I can and we'll see."

Stafford has dealt with injuries to his throwing hand in previous years and had varying degrees of success playing through them, though he also said he'll never use the injury as an excuse.

View photos of the starters for the Carolina Panthers.

"They all kind of affect you differently," he said of the different hand injuries he's had. "This one obviously is no different, but I just can figure out what I can and can't do throughout the week and we'll go from there.

"Some of those in the past have been pain tolerance and others have been function as well. It's all in the equation and part of it."

Is there any concern from Stafford about not being able to play Sunday?

"I'm just going to take it day-by-day," he said. "Try to see how it heals and how it feels throughout the week and go from there."

Stafford is hoping he can practice at some point this week and test it out to see if he can play on Sunday. It's something to monitor this week as the Lions head to Carolina this weekend hoping to get back to .500 on the year.


What do T.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, Joey Bosa and Romeo Okwara have in common?

Those four lead the NFL in quarterback pressure rate this season. Okwara is having a terrific 2020 season, and his current pressure rate of 17 percent is the fourth highest in the NFL behind Watt (18.2 percent), Donald (18) and Bosa (17.4), per Pro Football Focus statistics.

Okwara leads the Lions with six sacks on the year, which ranks 12th in the NFL. Okwara also has a team-leading 38 total pressures, more than double the next Lions defender – linebacker Reggie Ragland with 15. Okwara is 10th among all edge defenders in pass-rush productivity, and his 27 quarterback hurries are the third most.

"One of the most unselfish people you can be around," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Okwara Wednesday. "We ask him to do so many different things, especially aligning in different positions, and he just goes in and does it and he does it to the best of his ability. It's a credit to him and how hard he works.

"As a player he has continually worked so hard to develop himself, and I think you really see the extra work he does. We may practice for a certain amount of time but he's going to be out on the practice field for extended amounts of time after practice working on his technique, working on his hand placement, working on the run game and pass game. He just works. He works really hard."

What's really positive for the Lions moving forward is that defensive end Everson Griffen recorded a sack last week and tied for the franchise record with five quarterback hits against Washington. If he continues his upward trend, and Okwara keeps playing like he has all season and the Lions get defensive end Trey Flowers back soon, that could be a very productive trio on the edge for Detroit's defense the rest of the season.


Kicker Matt Prater earned his second NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award this season after booting three field goals in Detroit's 30-27 win over Washington Sunday, including a 59-yard game winner as time expired.

It's the first time Prater's won the award in multiple weeks in the same season since 2016. It's the seventh time in his career he's earned player of the week honors, which ranks third all-time.

Prater's 75 percent career conversion rate on field goal attempts of 50-plus yards remains the best in NFL history.


  • In Detroit's five losses, they've given up an average of 193.2 yards on the ground, compared to 77.0 in their four wins. Carolina comes into Sunday's game ranked 22nd in rushing offense, averaging 105.4 rushing yards per game.

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