Matthew Stafford says there’s no firm timeline for his return

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Matthew Stafford doesn’t know when he will return but called it a “collaborative effort” to try to “figure out when is appropriate and when is the best time for me to get back out there.”

The Lions quarterback has missed the past two games after fracturing bones in his back late in the team’s Week Nine loss to the Raiders.

There’s nothing firm, set anywhere,” Stafford told Mitch Albom Show on WJR 760-AM, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I think for me it’s a fluid situation and just something I’m monitoring and trying to make sure that when I’m back out there I’m ready to go and obviously, I’m doing, like I said earlier, everything I possibly can to get out there as fast as I can.”

Reports on Sunday indicated Stafford’s season could be over after doctors told the quarterback he has a six-week injury. Coach Matt Patricia continues to call Stafford “week to week.”

“I haven’t talked to anybody about any of that stuff, so I’m not really sure to be honest with you where they’re getting that information,” Stafford said on the radio when asked about the media reports. “It’s collaborative effort between myself, coach and the doctors just to figure out when is appropriate and when is the best time for me to get back out there. But rest assured I’m doing everything I can to be back as soon as possible. And nothing’s worse for me than standing on the sideline, not being able to impact the game, so I’m doing everything I can to get back.”

With the Lions nearing playoff elimination, the best course of action for Stafford’s long-term health would seem to be shutting him down for the rest of the year. But as Bill Parcells’ famously uttered, “Football players play football in football season,” so Stafford wants to come back this season if it’s safe for him to play.

Stafford called it “frustrating” to watch from the sideline.