Lions coach: Long break for Matthew Stafford was long-planned

Getty Images

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford got nearly a week off in the middle of training camp, which the Lions have apparently been thinking about for some time.

Via Kyle Meinke of, Lions coach Matt Patricia said he had planned for months to give his 31-year-old quarterback an extended break between joint practice session with the Patriots and Texans.

“With everybody having a player day off yesterday, too, I think the big thing for me is just to get everybody going,” Patricia said. “Just got to get moving after a player day off, but they’re still very active with their bodies. We call it active recovery, from that standpoint, that they’re doing something to flush out muscles and making sure they’re staying hydrated and stretching and all the rest of it.

“It’ll be good for everybody to get out there, including Matthew to get out there and just get running around and loosened up and get ready to go before we get on the plane. So just same for everybody today.”

Prior to this season, Stafford had missed just one practice since 2012. But the Lions built a couple of days off for him between the days the team already had off. He didn’t participate in the walk-through last Wednesday and didn’t play in Thursday’s preseason opener.

The rest may have paid off, as he reportedly looked sharp in practice. And while 31 might not seem old in quarterback years (especially when you consider Tom Brady), the Lions know any chances they have center on their quarterback being well, so taking care of him now seems prudent.