It took more than eight years for quarterback Matthew Stafford to miss his first start since 2010. He’ll now miss two in a row after head coach Matt Patricia ruled Stafford out of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field.
Stafford practiced last week leading up to last week’s game in Chicago, but he got some medical news last Friday night from the doctors and was deactivated for the game. The fact that he hasn’t practiced at all this week doesn’t make Friday’s announcement that surprising.
“There’s definitely a medical plan in place as far as all that’s concerned,” Patricia said of Stafford, but he didn’t get into any details.
Jeff Driskel is expected to make his second start for the Lions in place of Stafford. He completed 27-of-46 passes for 269 yards with a touchdown and interception in Chicago. He also rushed for 37 yards on five carries.
The difference for Driskel this week is that he’s had an opportunity to take first-team reps in practice.
“It’s good to get in the huddle with those guys,” Driskel said Wednesday. “We’re taking everything day to day. Everybody is just out there trying to get better.
“So, that’s what I’m focusing on this week is cleaning some things up from last week and just preparing my tail off and going out there and being ready on Sunday for whatever happens.”
Stafford was having arguably his best season leading up to the back injury suffered late in the Oakland game two weeks ago, which makes this tough timing for both him and the Lions.
The NFL is a next-man-up league, however, and Detroit will look to Driskel to try and snap their two-game losing streak against a good Dallas team Sunday.