Allen Park, Michigan. – Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, and center Frank Rugwen has been downgraded.
Both players were injured during last weekend’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Stafford suffered a rib cartilage injury in the fourth quarter when Kenny Clarke was hit and had to leave the game. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was not seen working outside during part of an exercise open to the media on Friday. He was listed as doing limited work.
Interim coach Darrell Bevell said the Lions would take Stafford’s injury by the end of the week and travel to Tennessee.
“It may or may not be a workout situation,” Bevell said. “Obviously, the conversation of what he is doing before we even get away from him. But if we need to workout on Sunday morning, we will complete that too.”
Bevel said Stafford is feeling good and moving forward and it’s hard to decide what that means because of his toughness. Stafford said Wednesday that for him, the biggest part of what he will play is whether he can throw and whether he thinks his body will be able to handle an entire game.
“It shouldn’t be one of those things where you get there and quickly do something weird and get out after the first series of games or something,” Stafford said. “Not to say, take a big hit and who knows what might happen. But [I] Want to feel good enough to be able to start the game and hopefully be able to complete it as well. Play at a higher level.
“All those things are things that should be one of a kind, and we’ll see if we can get there by the end of the week.”
Stafford said his motive is to try to better incorporate heat, snow, rest and movement. He didn’t know, like Wednesday, if he would need extra padding or extra wrap on his ribs to play – though he joked that he would “tape a pillow to my ribs or something.”
If Stafford is unable to play, Chase Daniel will be expected to start.
Rugwen was told not to speak on Wednesday or Thursday to rest his vocal cords following vocal cord fusion due to his throat injury. He visited a specialist on Friday to get the update.
He did not practice on Friday, and while he was initially listed as a suspect for the game, the Lions later downgraded him to dismiss him.
Rugwen has been around the facility all week, either writing down answers or teammates and coaches have asked him questions that he can answer with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down or nodding head. Rugwen’s ability to breathe or eat was not compromised by injury.
Bevel said, “We know that we went from our people to the expert, and the experts will actually guide us to that information and whether it’s safe for them to get back into the game” “I can tell you that if it’s safe If not, we will not put it there.
“We don’t want long-term results for him on the road, and I don’t think he would like that either. So we’ll take the information that we get from the expert and follow along.”
With Rugwen out, it is possible that rogue guard Jonah Jackson will hit the center and Joe Dahl will enter the guardup - the position from which he played when he did his job. Detroit could also center Dahl if needed.
Rocky defensive tackle John Penicini (Shoulder) is doubtful, and four Lions players are out: Wright Taryl Crosby (ankle), defensive lineman D’Shaw Hand (ankle), cornerback Darryl Roberts (hip) and wide receiver Kenny Goaldy (hip).
Roberts’ injury continues to have Detroit issues at the corner, where only Amani Oruveri and Justin Coleman are healthy in the team’s top five corners.
Golladay is missing his seventh straight game with a hip flexor that will not be as good as it gets. Talking to reporters for the first time since being injured, Gollade shot down the idea that his absence has nothing to do with his contract as he moves to free agency. He said the injury, which he described as a “muscle strain”, was prolonged.
“Definitely, want to be out on the field. Even when I was going there [for practice], I’m sure I was ready or I didn’t go there, “said Golade. And yes, it was clearly not ready yet, to be honest.
“It sucks, really. But I mean, I got smart with my body.”