All evidence is pointing to the likelihood that second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford's most recent right shoulder injury could shelve him for the season.
Two respected media outlets in the Detroit area both cited anonymous sources within the Lions organization that claim Stafford's MRI results, completed today, demonstrate a Grade 3 separation of his throwing arm. The injury occurred late in Sunday's 23-20, overtime loss to the New York Jets.
If the reports are accurate, it means Stafford will have yet to complete an NFL season in his brief career.
Stafford suffered a left shoulder separation last year, in addition to a knee injury that forced him to miss the team's final three games.
In his three starts in 2010, the former No. 1 overall pick has tossed six touchdowns versus only one interception.
His injury-history, however, is drifting towards habit, and that's a concern -- especially since it's affecting Stafford's most notable attribute: his golden right arm.
Although head coach Jim Schwartz claimed the injury was "new" on Monday, it appeared to be related to the second-year quarterback's previous shoulder concern, a Grade 2 separation, which occurred in the first week of the campaign.
That injury kept Stafford out six weeks. Considering the Grade 3 is a more complicated setback (and may or may not require surgery), simple math suggests that it's unlikely Stafford would play again with just eight weeks remaining on the schedule.
Detroit's back-up quarterback, Shaun Hill, is still recovering from a broken right arm, but there's a chance he could still play in Sunday's road tilt at Buffalo.
In Stafford's stead, Hill has completed over 60 percent of his passes this season, including nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.