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Stafford Defends Suh, Titus Young, Talks Athletic Cup

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DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 18: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the first quarter of the gam,e against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 18: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the first quarter of the gam,e against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) In the wake of the scandal over Ndamukong Suh’s hit on Texans’ QB Matt Schaub’s groin — that crumpled him to the ground like a sack of potatoes — the Lions’ Matthew Stafford defended the controversial defensive tackle.

Stafford said the apparent kick was “obviously” unintentional — though he added he’s never been hit in that particular area during play.

“No, never been kicked there,” Stafford said during an interview on the Valenti &Foster show on 97.1 The Ticket. “Obviously, those kind of unintentional hits happen all the in the game, it just so happened the camera was on him and that’s the way it goes. Things like that happen all the time.”

Schaub took some heat later for playing without an athletic cup, leaving him exposed to potential injury. But Stafford said that’s standard practice in today’s NFL. Apparently, players feel a jock strap slows them down.

“I would dare you to find somebody who does (wear a cup) these days,” Stafford said, adding, “I think those are kind of one-in-a million shots, they don’t happen too often. Guys like to play fast and feel fast, I guess.”

Stafford also weighed in on the situation with Titus Young, who was ejected by Lions head coach Jim Schwartz during practice and banned from the Thanksgiving game. Schwartz hasn’t revealed Young’s offense, but he said whatever happens next is Young’s call.

Stafford said he’ll welcome Young back.

“Like coach said, when he’s ready to come back, he’ll be back playing for us,” Stafford said. “In this business it’s so week-in and week-out you’ve got to be ready to roll with whoever’s available … Obviously, I’m not making personnel decisions … it’s not under my job, my job title, we  let them do their job and we try to go out there and play.”

He added: “Once you’re a teammate of mine, you’re always a teammate of mine no matter what happens and you know, I feel the same way about all the guys I’ve played with.”

He added he felt like his play was satisfactory during the Thanksgiving Day game, which the Lions lost to the Texans in overtime.

“I thought I played pretty decent, obviously, we moved the ball well, had some struggles,” Stafford said. “But I thought we threw the ball well, caught it pretty decent … It’s just a few plays here and there we didn’t make that kind of caught us,” Stafford said.

He had high praise for Ryan Broyles during the game, saying, “I think he’s growing, obviously he’s a young guy … He’s learning, he wants to learn, he wants to be good, to be in sync with me, he’s obviously super talented, the guy’s made some great plays for us … His depth the whole game was there for 60 minutes and plus,really, and that’s what we need for him … I’m happy for him, he deserved a good game and that’s what he got.”

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