Stafford unlikely to play against Cardinals

Matthew Stafford gave one of the most memorable performances of the season against Cleveland, but everything that has happened since has been forgettable.

Stafford struggled through a Thanksgiving blowout to the Packers, couldn’t finish the next game against the Bengals, and now is expected to miss his second straight game.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz confirmed after practice Saturday that Daunte Culpepper will likely get the start against Arizona Sunday.  Running back Kevin Smith and tight end Casey Fitzsimmons will also miss the game for Detroit.

Every missed game for Stafford is a wasted game for a Lions team that has shown no improvement on defense and only modest growth on offense. 

Schwartz’s team has mostly played hard for him, but he risks giving back some of his “progress” if the Lions keep getting blown out down the stretch.