Lions Notebook: Stafford In The Mix To Start

Matthew Stafford (AP Photo)

Jim Schwartz notes that "all three" quarterbacks are in the mix to start Sunday at Miami.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that no decision will be made on a starting quarterback for Sunday's game in Miami until "probably Sunday."

Schwartz said three quarterbacks, including Matthew Stafford, could be in the mix to start, though it seems unlikely that Stafford would be ready. Stafford just began a throwing regimen last week after separating his right shoulder against the Jets Nov. 7.

"We'll keep an open mind on all three guys and by the end of the week we'll have a pretty good plan to go forward," Schwartz said. "Drew (Stanton) definitely played well but we have a lot of other considerations. There's the health of all the other quarterbacks, the availability of all the other quarterbacks, the health of Drew. All those things will go into it. We'll cross that bridge Wednesday when we come to it."

Stanton suffered a grade three separation to the AC joint in his left non-throwing shoulder in the second quarter Sunday, but played through the pain.

"Drew showed a lot of toughness out there," Schwartz said. "He suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter and finished the game with it, played the best game that I've seen him play."

Stafford suffered the same injury last year against the Browns and played four days later on Thanksgiving, so it's unclear how the injury might affect Stanton's status for Sunday.

Schwartz did say that Stanton's performance Sunday certainly left an impression on him, though.

"Anytime you play well and leave the field with a win that's going to affect you in a positive way, for sure," he said.

Stanton threw for a career-high 252 yards in the victory and led the offense on a game-tying drive at the end of regulation and a game-winning drive in overtime.

Backup quarterback Shaun Hill (broken index finger) was listed as Stanton's backup on Sunday and could have played if needed. Hill should be healthy enough to start on Sunday in Miami, which leaves Schwartz with a number of options at quarterback.


  • Safety Louis Delmas suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Bucs and did not return to the game.

    Delmas will now have to pass a series of concussion tests this week if he hopes to get back on the practice field starting Wednesday.

    "There are a lot of things that he'll have to do," Schwartz said. "A lot of times, after the game and the day after the game, some symptoms will come that hadn't occurred, like headaches or dizziness. A lot of guys that we've had in those situations finished the game and didn't experience any issues during the game, then after the game or the next day experienced symptoms. Louis was a guy that we held out after the first quarter. How quickly he bounces back and passes all those tests is yet to be determined."

  • Making matters worse for the Lions, the team's other starting safety, rookie Amari Spievey, was scratched from the lineup right before Sunday's game because of neck and back spasms.

    "Amari was a little bit of a strange thing," Schwartz said. "When we went with our inactive list he was OK to play but his neck and back started spasming up and he really had a difficult time warming up. We actually took him in during pregame warmups trying to get some work on him and trying to get him ready to play. He was available in an emergency and it almost came to that."

    The Lions will now have question marks with both starting safeties as they head further into the week.

  • If the Lions wouldn't have picked up a third-and-8 at the Bucs' 38-yard line in overtime, he said Monday that he probably would have tried the 55-yard field goal, despite it being on the very limit of kicker Dave Rayner's range.

    "It was technically outside his range but we might have given him a shot," Schwartz said.

  • TE Brandon Pettigrew has come into his own in this, his second season in the league. Pettigrew's 629 receiving yards this season passes TE Jim Gibbons (604 in 1960) for third-most in a single season among Lions' tight ends. Pettigrew is just the fourth tight end in team history to record 600 receiving yards in a season, joining Charlie Sanders (656 in 1969), David Hill (633 in 1978) and Gibbons (605 in 1964 and 604 in 1960).
  • RB Maurice Morris has helped perked up the ground game after taking on more of the load for the injured Jahvid Best (turf toe). Morris rushed for 109 yards against the Bucs, the fifth-highest total in his nine-year career. Maurice is the first 100-yard rusher for the Lions this season. The last 100-yard performance for a Lions running back was Morris' 126 yards against the Cardinals in Week 15 of last season.
  • LB DeAndre Levy reached double-digit tackles (11) for the third time in his career Sunday. Levy, who missed five games this season due to injury, reached double digits in tackles in a Week 17 game against the Bears last season and 10 tackles this season against the Jets in Week 9. Levy made a crucial interception in the end zone in a win against the Packers last week and continued his fine play into Sunday. Recommended Stories