Rib and thumb injuries could not prevent Matthew Stafford from starting Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but an ankle injury has knocked Stafford out of action at Ford Field.
Stafford suffered the injury on the Lions’ third offensive play, when he rolled his right ankle as he backpedaled trying to avoid a hit by Bucs linebacker Devin White.
He stayed in for the next play, completing a 2-yard pass to Danny Amendola that was short of a first down, then went to the Lions bench, where he immediately received medical attention.
Trainers re-taped Stafford’s ankle, but he was unable to put any weight on his foot and hopped on one leg to the tunnel behind the Lions bench. He was 2-for-3 for 17 yards passing.
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Chase Daniel replaced Stafford for the Lions’ second offensive series. This is the third straight game he has played in due to injuries to Stafford.
Stafford suffered partially torn ligaments in his right thumb in a Nov. 15 win over Washington that he has continued to play through, and suffered a rib strain in a Dec. 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Last week, Stafford started despite both injuries, but was pulled from the game early in the fourth quarter after taking back-to-back hits and with the Lions down three touchdowns in a 46-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Officially, Stafford is questionable to return vs. the Bucs.
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Meanwhile, Tom Brady threw his second touchdown pass in as many possessions — this time 27 yards to Mike Evans — to give Tampa Bay an early 13-0 lead with 7:39 left in the first quarter. He hooked up with Rob Gronkowski for a 33-yard score on the opening possession, though the Bucs missed the extra point.
This story will be updated with any new information.
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