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What to make of Matthew Stafford injury moving forward

Lions QB Matthew Stafford won’t play in Week 10. Time to figure out when he’ll return to action.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passes the football against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions deactivated quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 10 due to a back injury, and we have questions about what it means moving forward. Adam Schefter tweeted that Stafford was dealing with fractures in his back. That sounds particularly rough, but we’ve also seen reports this could be anywhere from a one to three week absence. It likely would mean Stafford plays in some measure of pain and/or discomfort the rest of the season.

Lions GM Bob Quinn offered up a statement on Stafford’s status, per beat writer Tim Twentyman.

“Had the back injury last week near the end of the Oakland game. Practiced on limited all week. Listed him as questionable. Got to the stadium this morning, met with the doctors, and he wasn’t medically cleared to play today. So, he’s deactivated.”

Ian Rapoport reported that an MRI on Friday indicated he would not be cleared by Sunday, but Quinn’s statement suggests they might have known but still wanted to see how things looked on game day. Regardless, he’s out for one game, and anything beyond that seems up in the air.

The Lions will return to practice on Wednesday to begin preparations for Week 11 at home against the Dallas Cowboys. I doubt we hear Stafford ruled out early in the week, and given the injury, it would be surprising if he practiced on Wednesday. My guess is we see him listed as questionable next Friday and a game-time decision. I’d bet on him sitting another week or two, but we’ll be left waiting week to week.