Stafford healthy, ready to get back to football

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is healthy and ready to play football whenever the NFL tells the Detroit Lions they can resume on-field activities.

"I feel great," Stafford said in a Zoom call with reporters Thursday from his home in Atlanta. "It's healthy and healed up. I'm moving around as good as this slow dude can move around."

Stafford missed the final eight games of the 2019 season after suffering a back injury Week 9 in Oakland. The missed start the following week in Chicago broke his consecutive start streak at 136 games.

Up to that point last season, Stafford was playing at a Pro Bowl caliber level. He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns vs. just five interceptions through his first eight games. He looked very comfortable in Darrell Bevell's offensive scheme, and was leading the league in 20-plus-yard completions. His 106.0 passing rating was among the best in the league.

Stafford said he's thrown this offseason with wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola, rookie running back D’Andre Swift, rookie receiver Quintez Cephus and second-year tight end Isaac Nauta.

"I feel great," he said. "I'm not worried about going out there and playing. If we could put the pads on today and go play, I would do it. I think my teammates know, the guys that have been with me, seen me throw it around, I'm as good as I've been the last couple years physically and I feel fine."

With his three top receivers back from last season, tight end T.J. Hockenson expected to make a big jump in production in year two, the additions the offense has made, and then the comfort level that comes with being in the second year of Bevell's system, the expectation is for this Stafford-led Lions offense to be explosive in 2020.

"I'm excited," Stafford said. "I hope everything goes as safe and as smooth as it can this offseason and we're allowed back in at some point as long as that's safe. I'm hoping we get to get it going because I've put a lot of work into being where I am and I know the other guys on our team are doing the same."

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