Detroit Lions: 53-man roster prediction prior to season opener

Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Stafford warming up before a game
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /


In: (2) Matthew Stafford, Chase Daniel

Out: David Blough

Rationale: No surprises here. By all accounts, Stafford has looked sharp during August and seems to be fully recovered from the back injury that cost him the final eight games of 2019.

Stafford was excelling in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s scheme before being sidelined after eight games last year, a scheme that highlights his powerful right arm and takes advantage of his myriad offensive playmakers. If Stafford can stay on the field, the Lions’ offense will be a weekly problem for the opposition.

Daniel, equipped with a healthy three-year free-agent contract, is firmly entrenched as the number two. Entering his eleventh season, he has started just five career games, though he is arguably the best backup that the Lions have had since Shaun Hill nearly a decade ago.

He’s a major step down from Stafford, and, like most NFL teams, the Lions could be in trouble if their backup has to play too many meaningful snaps. Yet, they will entrust the offense to him should Stafford become sidelined.

In this scenario, we have the Lions keeping just two quarterbacks. However, they could elect to play it safe and hang onto three, considering the uncertainty surrounding the season and the importance of the position.

Blough went winless in five starts for Detroit last year and is limited as a passer. However, his extended experience in the offense from 2019 makes him a solid bet to stick around on the practice squad should he sneak through waivers.