It seems that Matthew Stafford can’t catch a break. After Detroit Lions coaches and fans had high hopes for the season, between the Stafford to Calvin Johnson connections, the defensive line that was supposed to be superb or the added running backs with power, those hopes have surely been dashed. Missed tackles, dropped balls and now an injury to Stafford have fans shaking their heads and wondering how this season can ever get back on track. Can it even get back on track?
In what is truly ironic, Stafford went out of the Lions game Sunday when he was trying to make a tackle after a turnover (one of many) to the Tennessee Titans. When he limped off the field, trainers immediately went to him, did a few stretches, and evaluated him. He did not return to the game after it was said to be a muscle strain in his leg.
The Lions head office released news on Monday that Stafford would undergo an MRI on his right leg. No other word on his condition or what his status for practice this week is or even the game for next Sunday. The Lions play the Minnesota Vikings, who just came off a huge upset over the San Francisco 49ers. You can see where this might be very, very bad news for the Lions…
NFL Insider Jason La Confora tweeted:
Lions unsure if Matt Stafford will be able to go next week with his muscle pull. Keeping options open. As source said “he’s one tough dude”
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 24, 2012
He might be a tough dude, but there’s more than just a leg injury he has to overcome. He didn’t have any interceptions this week, but the guys he threw to couldn’t hang on to the ball. Brandon Pettigrew had the ball stripped, which led to the Titans getting a touchdown. Johnson didn’t have the opportunity to catch much with being covered so well until the second half, and then a touchdown with just 18 seconds left in the game. Mikel Leshoure did have 26 carries and 4 catches with a touchdown. But if Stafford can’t rely on who he can throw too besides these two, then he doesn’t have a whole lot to go on. The Vikings are definitely working on their game plan to hold Leshoure’s running game in check and Johnson will probably be double teamed, so someone else needs to step up their game. Fast.
Stafford has a history of injuries since he joined the Lions back in 2009. He missed a few games with a knee injury in his rookie season, then missed most of 2010 with a shoulder injury. Can he overcome this injury and return versus the Vikings or will he take advantage of a BYE week right after and come back stronger in two weeks? And besides worrying about his leg, Stafford is definitely worried about his receivers and his runningbacks. How can he get them on track as well so 2012 doesn’t end up being a dismal season that the naysayers all predicted?