NFL Investigating How Detroit Handled Matthew Stafford's Back Injury

NFL: NOV 10 Lions at Bears

Matthew Stafford's streak of 136 straight starts came to an end on Sunday (November 10) when a back injury sidelined the Lions' quarterback hours before their game against the Chicago Bears, which they lost 20-13 with Jeff Driskel getting the start in place of Stafford.

Stafford was listed as questionable when the Lions submitted their injury report on Friday. While he was considered a game-time decision on Sunday, some Lions players said they learned on Saturday that Stafford wasn't going to play.

That caught the attention of league officials, who are looking into whether the Lions knew Stafford would miss the game when they listed him as questionable on the injury report.

"We'll look into it and gather all the facts," a league source told ESPN, "as is standard in situations like this."

Lions coach Matt Patricia said the decision to deactivate Stafford was made on Sunday after doctors declared that he was not medically cleared to play.

"I'm not going to get into too many specifics, but he truly was limited. Participated but truly limited through the week, and we were hoping by the time we got to today that we were going to be able to do it," Patricia said. "And like I said, it just wasn't safe to put him in that situation. So the information that we got, talking with the doctors, it wasn't the right thing to do. Again, I'm more concerned about him more than anything else. He's got a great family. He's a great guy."

After the game, Stafford told reporters that while he hated to sit out, it was the correct call.

"Obviously, I want to be out there with the guys," Stafford said. "I think it was the right decision, a collective decision. But it's tough. I love playing this game."

Stafford is currently listed as week-to-week but does not expect to miss an extended period of time.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be out there, you guys know that," Stafford said. "I think that that’s just something that’s kind of going to be a decision probably week-to-week on whether or not I can make it out there. But I’m going to do everything I can to try and be out there as soon as possible.”

Photo: Getty Images

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