Matthew Stafford is cleared for Sunday’s game at Minnesota

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When the Lions face the Vikings today in Minneapolis, they’ll have their franchise quarterback.

Via Adam Schefter of, Stafford received final clearance to exit the COVID-19 reserve list, based on a Saturday PCR sample that generated a negative result.

Stafford presumably will also be required to generate a negative point-of-care test today. It’s unclear whether that already has happened. The notion that he’s clear to play would suggest that it has.

Stafford landed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week not because of a positive result by him or a family member or exposure to a teammate who has the virus. The Stafford family was exposed to someone with COVID-19.

This means that Stafford did the right thing and disclosed this information to the team, even if it meant Stafford not practicing this week in preparation for the Minnesota game. Players in such situations surely are tempted to keep their mouths shut, and some quite possibly have done just that.

For Stafford, reducing the temptation is the fact that he’s in no danger of losing his job. Players whose grip on playing time is more tenuous would be far less inclined to volunteer such information, for fear of giving the next man up an opportunity to show what he can do — and possibly to send the player who did the right thing to the wrong place on the depth chart.

That doesn’t make it right. But it would be naive to think it hasn’t happened, or that it won’t as the virus continues to spread.