Detroit Lions need to shut down QB Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s time the Detroit Lions shut down Matthew Stafford for the season.

The Detroit Lions fought hard on Sunday but failed to emerge with a victory. The Green Bay Packers moved the ball around the field and seemingly scored at will. A late, long field goal sealed their fate as well as their season.

Instead of keeping their minimal playoff hopes alive, the Lions came out of the game with a notable injury to starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. While the scans came back negative on his ribs, it’s time for the team to do the right thing and shut down Stafford for the remainder of the season.

With the playoffs a distant dream at this point requiring help from multiple other teams, there are zero rewards for the risk of further injury. Let Stafford heal instead of chasing the one percent chance of the playoffs. Give interim head coach Darrell Bevell credit for his enthusiasm, but also be real. It would be nothing short of a miracle to see Detroit in the postseason.

And it’s not just Stafford’s ribs. The Lions quarterback has been nursing a thumb injury for weeks. Look, Stafford is a fighter and a tough player. He’d try to play with another separated shoulder if it meant throwing a game-winning touchdown. But this late in the season, there’s nothing to gain.

It’s time to see what this team looks like (again) without Stafford at quarterback. Let backup quarterback Chase Daniel lead the team through the remaining three games. It will give the future Detroit Lions general manager and head coach a view of the future should they move on from Stafford in the offseason – for better or worse.

It will either show the new leaders they need Stafford to give this team a fighting chance while a rookie quarterback learns from him or bring in a fresh quarterback to learn as they go. Owner Sheila Ford Hamp recently said she wants a “proven head coach/GM” team. Would that team want a healthy proven quarterback to start their new roles? It would make a lot of sense.

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Either way, Stafford should take the rest of the season to heal up and get right. Either the Lions or another team will be counting on him come 2021. As sad as it is to say, there’s simply nothing left to win in 2020.