Detroit Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell said Monday the team will likely take the decision to the end of the week whether to play starting quarterback Matthew Stafford after he injured his ribs in Sunday’s loss to Green Bay.
When asked if Stafford had broken any ribs, Bevell said X-rays came back negative, but he did not have more information on the extent of his injury.
“This will be a deal where we take it to the end of the week,” Bevell said. “He’s a little bit better this afternoon than he was this morning so we’ll see how it goes and how he can progress.”
While the Lions figure out their quarterback situation, Bevell said backups Chase Daniel and David Blough will take more reps this week in practice while Stafford tries to heal.
Stafford was hurt on a hit by Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark as he slid in the fourth quarter. He stayed in for one more play — a Kerryon Johnson touchdown run — but grabbed his left abdomen area as he celebrated the touchdown. He did not return to the game after that and was not made available after the game — a rarity for him in his career.
Bevell said he spoke with Stafford in the locker room after the game on Sunday night to see how he felt and again Monday morning. He was doing it more to check on his health than anything about the game. Bevell said “it’s going to take a lot to keep him out,” because of his toughness.
Stafford, 32, has been known for his toughness throughout his career — playing through hand, finger and back injuries the past few seasons. Even Sunday against Green Bay, Stafford tried to throw on the sideline to see if he could reenter the game before a combination of pain and the ability to complete what would be required of him pushed Bevell to insert Daniel in his place.
Bevell, who played quarterback in college at Wisconsin, said how Stafford feels during the week will depend on where the injury is. Bevell said you use your left side “a little bit more than your right side,” so it’ll be something they have to monitor and how much he can push through.
“For sure, that is definitely who he is but we’re going to use all the resources we have at our disposal, which is we have the athletic training staff, we have doctors and then obviously he’ll have a big say in how he’s feeling,” Bevell said. “We’ll look at the tests with our eyes and we’ll see how he’s performing but it’ll basically be performance-based.
“If he’s going to be able to function at a high enough level, one, to perform well and two, to be able to protect himself.”
Detroit did make one other move Monday — as Bevell announced rookie corner Jeff Okudah will have season-ending surgery and the team will place him on injured reserve at some point this week.
Bevell said Okudah had a tough season with injuries and being in-and-out of the lineup, but he sees “a bright future” for the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.
“He’ll only be better for what he’s gone through this year,” Bevell said. “And I expect him to go out and get this surgery and come back with a renewed attitude and renewed effort to get himself in shape, to get himself ready to play and ready for this grind.”