Report: Lions fear Stafford is done for the year

Every Sunday night at NBC, we try to harvest updated information regarding the biggest injuries of the day, for discussion during the Sunday Night Football post-game show.  This week, all efforts to obtain information regarding the status of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford were met with the soft-yet-incredibly-annoying chirp of cricket wings.

When that happens, it usually means that the early indications aren’t good.

And that’s reportedly the case with Stafford, according to Tom Kowalski of

Per Kowalski, preliminary tests showed a Grade 3 separation of Stafford’s right shoulder.  Grade 3 involves a complete separation of the joint, with tearing of ligaments and the capsule surrounding the joint.  (We always thought Grade 3 was the highest grade of shoulder separation; as it turns out, the scale goes all the way up to Grade 6.  Anything above Grade 3 usually involves the kind of trauma that doesn’t occur on a football field, except in one of the older versions of the Madden game, when the ambulance drove out and ran guys over.)

Kowalski reports that Stafford is expected to confer with Dr. James Andrews, who treated Stafford when he suffered a Grade 2 separation in Week One of the 2010 season.  If it’s indeed a Grade 3 separation, Stafford likely will require surgery, and he almost definitely will be done for the year.

As Kowalski points out, Stafford never has missed a game due to injury in high school or college.  He now has had four significant injuries in less than two pro seasons — a dislocated right kneecap, a separated left shoulder, and two separations of his right shoulder.

Maybe it’s bad luck.  Maybe there’s something more to it.  Either way, Stafford has yet to come close to fulfilling his potential for reasons unrelated to his performance, and sooner or later the Lions need to ask themselves whether the first pick in the 2009 draft is simply too prone to injury at the NFL level.

52 responses to “Report: Lions fear Stafford is done for the year

  1. I really feel sorry for Matthew Stafford. The guy tries to come back from his earlier shoulder injury in Week 1 in Chicago and now he hurts it again. I just hope he can recover from this one and try to salvage something out of what should have been a promising career. Get well soon, Stafford.

  2. Isnt Nissan the company that has that big action commercial with the guy named “Kowalski”? Now THAT is synergy!
    “We have an emergency, Kowalksi”
    “What is your ’emergency’?”
    “The intern forgot the donuts!”

  3. Too bad. He looks like he has the makings to be a really good QB and ressurect that team. Here’s hoping he gets back on the field and stays injury free for quite sometime.

  4. I remember Grossman was never hurt in high school or college and then he was snake bitten his first few years in the NFL.

  5. If you can’t play, you can’t make any impact.
    Looks like they’ll need someone new next year.

  6. This is why the Lions should have took a LT in the draft instead of Suh. It doesn’t matter how good Suh is, you got a franchise QB you’ve gotta keep him healthy.

  7. They have put a lot of money into that kid and it’s a shame too because Detroit football is definitely up-and-coming

  8. maybe it’s bad luck?I know you are in a hurry to label the kid a bust but come on!you just pointed out he never missed a game in high school and college but now he is injury prone?have you seen the hits the guy has taken to get these injuries?when you have 300lb. lineman tossing you to the ground on your shoulder or landing on your shoulder chances are your shoulder is going to be hurt!hopefuly for him the lions will feel the way you do and get rid of him,so he can to a team that has a line that can protect him and he will still have a long and productive career.

  9. Before the Lions draft another franchise QB, they should consider drafting an offensive line that can protect him.

  10. That really sucks for both Stafford and the Lions…..both deserve better than this. If figures though, the Lions FINALLY get a QB they can count on during a game, and he can’t stay IN the game…..

  11. Even though I’m a Bears fan, I hate to see this kid get hurt. If he can overcome this and strengthen himself I think he can be the answer for Detroit.

  12. lol at the madden 64 reference those were the days lol and as far as Stafford im hoping that his career isnt gonna b a injury riddled one ..but… idk

  13. Stafford just doesn’t look like he has that strong/football body at this time and needs to get in the weight room and also learn to how better move around in the pocket and avoid the big hits.
    Its not just simply having a left tackle…Roethlisberger gets hit a ton in games but knows how to slip tackles and make those quick little moves to avoid getting crushed.

  14. conormalone
    suh was a great pick what they should have done was take a franchise lt in oher instead of pettigrew

  15. I agree with ConorMalone – the Lion’s couldn’t afford the luxury of the Suh pick. I was astounded when they picked him. I thought they would have drafted Okung or Williams OR traded down and got an extra pick or two and an OT like Bulaga or Anthony Davis.

  16. Have to take back what I said yesterday about it not being a hard hit that took him out. Looked into it more closely. I guess with the injury he had previously it only felt better, it wasn’t actually healed and didn’t have the time to properly rehab. It wasn’t just a case of taking a little fall. If that was the case I would have said he simply isn’t tough enough for the NFL and that’s exactly what I was thinking. When the ligament is still very newly recovered, as was the case here, any little hit can cause even greater damage. The Lions should have found this info out from doctors and sat him a few more weeks. It was already aggravated last week against Washington. I guess nobody realized how serious that actually was.
    Sit him down for the year, bulk up the shoulder. Lions need you on the field. Lots of QB’s, such as Phil Simms, has started their career off with injuries. Get fully healthy and come out slinging next year. If he truly can’t take the hits, and I’m going to stop just short of saying that he can’t, then time will tell. Kid has the tools, just needs to stay off the IR. This year is a write off anyways. Only thing the Lions need to know is if this type of injury is going to make his shoulder less durable forever, or can it be fine if given enough time.

  17. Well at least when Sean Hill is healthy he’s playing good, if Stafford doesn’t work out

  18. You can look at it like Bill Polian, let’s hold him out and make him healthy for next year, since you know you are not going to the playoffs.

  19. His problem is that he needs to workout more. He doesn’t have enough muscle up top around his arms and chest to take any of the impact.
    I hope to see him on the field again one day, he is a difference maker and a true competitior.

  20. FYI Stafford got hurt scrambling down field, not because of protection issues with the O-line.
    Though the Lions do need a better O-line and the first injury in Chicago was totally the O-line’s fault.

  21. Too bad, the kid looked great and the Lions were finally starting to look like a semi-respectable team this year.
    I hope he’s able to get better and come back eventually.

  22. You kow I would normally be on the same page as everyone else about him being injury prone. However, If you look at all three of his injuries they were legit. The knee..he was grabed by the horse collar and pulled against his body weight. The first shoulder..the cleveland game last year. A 300 pound D lineman drives him to the ground and this year another 300 pound lineman falls on his throwing shoulder. Not making excuses but I think these are legit injuries. Everyones not Brett. Actually the hit that broke Romo’s clavical wasnt as bad a hit he took last year cleveland or this year with Pep. Put him on the shelf for the year and put him on a hard core work out plan over the off season.

  23. His arm is gonna go flying along with the football someday. Will it still be a legal forward pass when the ball crosses the line of scrimmage with his hand still holding it? Will he be credited with a catch if it hits the ground still in his hand?

  24. This is what happens when you rush someone back out there when they aren’t 100% healed. Case in point: Brian Westbrook. Dude had a bad concussion and the Eagles rushed him back out and he got dinged once more and had another bad concussion.
    I think Stafford will be fine, maybe change his shoulder pads. They don’t seem to give enough protection. Every other QB seems to have larger shoulderpads then him. also, a new LT wouldn’t hurt.

  25. First of all, for all of us Lions fans. At least we can look at Sam Bradford for some hope. The exact type of thing happened to him, and he’s looked pretty good so far since the surgery.
    As for those of you that say that it’s the line that’s the problem. You might want to look at the stats because there are 22 teams that have given up more sacks than the Lions. The play that initially hurt Staff in the Bears game was indeed a bad play by Backus, but Peppers makes a lot of people look bad. Overall though, the pass protection has been pretty good.
    For those of you that go so far as to say that they should have passed on Suh. Well, I’m actually not going to dignify that with a response.

  26. Just when I (and alot if Lions fans) thought there was a light at the end of this 10 year tunnel, that old face shows itself to us again. It’s the face of frustration.

  27. Stafford’s injury had nothing to do with the O-line. He was scrambling for extra yards on a play where he should have just thrown it away, and was tackled awkwardly. Seems to me the guy isn’t necessarily injury prone, he just needs to learn how to take a hit better.

  28. All you guys saying the O-line is so terrible, we shouldn’t have taken Suh it should have been an LT, blah blah blah…have an original thought, jump off the bandwagon, and analyze facts before posting please.
    Lions QB’s are not getting sacked every other play like you seem to imagine. They’ve given up only 14 which is less than 2 per game (tied for 8th best). He did not get injured while being sacked this past Sunday either. He just isn’t strong enough or doesn’t know how to take hits or fall down properly.
    I don’t know if you are ignoring the fact or just simply unaware, but Williams doesn’t seem to be doing much in Washington, and Okung himself has been out injured.

  29. Sit him, get him healthy, get him an O-line and make him strengthen that shoulder in the gym. This kid is a gamer and can lead the Lions to a division championship next year. Their games have been close and they have been on the wrong side of some bad calls that impacted the W-L columns. The Lions skill positions are set and so is D-line. Use the draft to build a wall in front of Stafford/Best.

  30. I realize this is bad news for the lions but it’s frustrating because they have a promising team that will have a poor record and of course will be rewarded with a high pick to use on a franchise LT next spring. They have parlayed their awfulness into getting all the talent in the world. They’ll be a contender in some time and everyone will act surprised when they shouldn’t be. After so many years of ultra high picks you should be competitive. I’m starting to think an NBA style lottery for the first 8 picks might be in order.

  31. Re-injuring his throwing shoulder is tough — that shoulder will be weakened and injury-prone the rest of his career. Probably doesn’t help that he plays on artificial turf at least 8 games a year. Well, that and his lousy O-line.

  32. Unwashed villager: Nice image. But you’ve got the wrong joint. A separated shoulder is torn ligament between the clavicle and the scapula. Has nothing to do with the humerus. You’re thinking dislocated shoulder.

  33. This is the exact same thing that happened to Sam Bradford. Had a Grade II separation then a return to play before it’s healed completely lead to a Grade III. Stafford will rehab and be fine, especially since he’ll have extra time due to the probable lockout.
    He’s not made of ‘glass’ just some astonishingly bad luck so far.

  34. When this guys in the game we’re good. He’s currently the old “Matt Shaub” of the NFL, good quarterback that can’t stay healthy. I don’t think we should give up on him yet but maybe with this years draft we keep stocking that defense with another player like Sue. This is the guy to build around in my opinion. When you have a special player like this go after it, see how far him and that defense can take ya. As long as we can move the ball we’ll be fine. I think right now our future is defense.

  35. He needs to start taking notes from peyton..that guy is a pro at flopping so that he doesn’t get pile-driven into the ground. You rarely see peyton take any hard hits. Part of that is because he gets rid of the ball quickly, but part of it is that when he does get hit, he falls to avoid some devastating hit. Smart career move, as much as i can’t stand him.

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