Lions keeping QB situation under wraps

Matthew Stafford (Leon Halip/USP)

The Detroit Lions lost starting QB Matthew Stafford to injury Sunday, but they are trying to keep his status hush-hush for this week's game against the Vikings.

What is the difference between Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill?

Oh, let's just say a lot.

Hill, a former third-string Viking, is the backup QB in Detroit. Stafford was selected by the only 0-16 team in NFL history and brought them to the playoffs last year.

Suffice it to say, the difference between those two quarterbacks is like the difference between Hayden Pannettieri and me. If Detroit wants to get their 1-2 season back on track, beating the Vikings Sunday is critical. Having one or the other may well make the difference between making the playoffs or not – after all, the Lions have scored 41 points in a game and lost.

But this year, with Hill relieving the injured Stafford on Sunday, he has completed 10 of 13 passes for two touchdowns, no interceptions and a nearly perfect 157.8 rating. Stafford, meanwhile, has three touchdowns, four interceptions and a 83.5 rating.

As would be expected, Jim Schwartz wasn't forthcoming with the local Detroit media. In response to a question about an (alleged) MRI Stafford had (or didn't have) Monday, Schwartz effectively told everyone that the results were nobody's business.

"I don't have any comment on how anything went with him," Schwartz told the assembled media. "He wasn't able to finish the game. Shaun Hill came in and finished the game for us and we'll see how he (Stafford) progresses through the week."

The injury has been ruled by eyewitnesses as a potential hamstring injury. According to the Lions, what are you talking about? According to Stafford himself, something happened to "my leg" and "let's leave it that."

The unofficial moratorium will continue until Wednesday when Stafford faces the media. Expect two things: a lot of "next question" responses from Detroit and a full week of Vikings preparation to face Stafford on Sunday.


  • Ask Packers fans about the replacement refs – one calling a touchdown and the guy with the better angle calling interception/touchback. The Vikings have no problem with Green Bay being 1-2, but those who have had any modicum of churchin' up know that the pain the Packers and their fans feel is legitimate. They got jobbed. However, if you work with a Packers fan and work starts at 8 a.m., you'll likely find their displeasure made evident by 8:01.

  • The replacement ref reaction continued when a fan in the crowd at the Baltimore-New England game Sunday night said the chant to voice the displeasure with the refs was deafening. Almost all of the 71,000 fans in attendance made their feelings known about the replacement officials. To summarize, the fans in unison chanted something akin to bovine excrement over and over and over again. Having the fan base express its disgruntlement with the current labor impasse may go a long way to getting a resolution to current saltiness between the NFL and the officials. In hindsight to what happened on the other side of the continent 24 hours later, one can only imagine that the negotiations just speeded up and the NFL basically handed the hammer to the officials.

  • In a side note, the Packers have surpassed their regular-season loss total from 2011 three games into the 2012 season.

  • The Saints and Packers play next Sunday and, if the Saints win, both teams will be 1-3 and, if the Packers win, New Orleans will be 0-4. Neither of those are viewed as bad scenarios to Vikings fans, whose disdain for both teams bubbles to the surface at the mention of their names.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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