By Ashley Scoby
Head coach Jim Caldwell again deferred to the injury report when asked about the status of quarterback Matthew Stafford. That injury report listed Stafford as a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, with an unspecified injury to his ribs.
Stafford got banged up against the Vikings on Sunday after taking eight hits and a sack. According to wide receiver Golden Tate, Stafford was struggling to get the play calls out in the huddle because he was in so much pain. He went for X-rays on his chest and ribs after the game, but those results have not been released, nor would Stafford or Caldwell respond to a question of whether the quarterback has any broken bones.
In addition to the injury to his core, Stafford was bleeding steadily from his left arm on Sunday, and was still wearing a bandage on that arm on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, Stafford said he was feeling “pretty good” but would not confirm his status for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. He also would not say whether he would be taking extra precautions (like extra padding or an arm sleeve), should he play.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I’ve got to lean on the doctors and I’ll lean on their advice.”
During the open portion of Wednesday’s practice, which is the time the team uses for individual drills, Stafford participated as much as he normally would. He wasn’t wearing any visible extra padding or bandages.
Stafford has always gotten the reputation of being someone who plays through pain in the NFL, and it could be the case Sunday that if he does play, he won’t be 100 percent. However he feels, Stafford said that pain level doesn’t affect the way he approaches a game.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Just try to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, go through my reads and get the ball where it needs to be.”
Caldwell said that should backup Dan Orlovsky be called to play, different game plans would be in place.
“We have to make adjustments from a schematic standpoint, we have to make adjustments to it in terms of the plays we run, those kinds of things,” Caldwell said. “So yes, there are adjustments to be made.”
In his career, Orlovsky has completed 276 of 472 passes (58.5 percent) for 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He played in seven games for the Lions back in 2008, throwing eight touchdowns and eight interceptions and completing 56.1 percent of his passes.
Infamously, Orlovsky is also known for running out of the back of his own end zone for a safety against the Vikings in 2008. The Lions lost that game by two points.
Whether or not a backup has to see the field this weekend, though, will have a lot to do with Stafford’s pain tolerance. Behind a line that is still “gelling,” as they say, Stafford could see some more hard hits against Denver, with Von Miller and Demarcus Ware chomping at the bit to get him on the ground.
“I don’t think there’s any question about how tough he is,” Caldwell said. “I think that was probably demonstrated his first year in the league. I think everybody can kind of remember the whole sequence that he went through in terms of battling through tough times and things of that nature. So his toughness has never been in question around here.”