Report: Lions QB Matthew Stafford could miss 6 weeks due to back fractures

Matthew Stafford’s 136-game starting streak was snapped in Week 10 when he sat out due to a back injury, and it seems like that injury might cause him to miss even more time.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Detroit Lions quarterback has several small, non-displaced fractures in his upper thoracic spine, which could cause him to miss six weeks. These fractures didn’t happen in Week 9, the last game he started. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Stafford had been playing through this injury for weeks before the Lions’ medical team denied him clearance to play in Week 10.

That timeline seems fairly dismal, but there’s reason for optimism. Stafford practiced before Week 10, even though he was eventually ruled out. Schefter reported that the Lions only expect Stafford to miss one to three weeks, which is an improvement on the six-week timeline.

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Matthew Stafford's back fractures mean he could miss up to 6 weeks, and backup QB Jeff Driskel (left) will play in his absence. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford's back fractures mean he could miss up to 6 weeks, and backup QB Jeff Driskel (left) will play in his absence. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Stafford, 31, had been having one of the best seasons of his career before the injury ended his streak. In eight starts in 2019, Stafford had thrown for 2,499 yards with 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He’s completed 64.5 percent of his passes, and has a career-high QB rating of 106.0.

Lions backup QB Jeff Driskel started Week 10 in Stafford’s place, which ended up being a loss to the struggling Chicago Bears. Driskel will start against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and would likely start more games for the Lions while Stafford’s back heals.

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