Matthew Stafford a Lock to Play in Week 4?
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford practiced with the team this week and will be under center at the start of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that Stafford was at practice and working with the first-team offense both Thursday and Friday after sitting out on Wednesday. The 24-year-old signal caller suffered a leg strain and sore hip during last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans and did not return.
Stafford is listed as probable on the team’s injury report, a move that Birkett says “eras[es] doubt about his availability for Sunday’s game.”
Other injury news for the Lions offense includes running back Mikel Leshoure and tight end Tony Scheffler, who are both listed as questionable. Leshoure has been limited in practice this week due to a sore groin from the Titans game. Scheffler, who missed the game with a calf injury, has participated in most practice drills this week.
There should be no hesitation to start Stafford, especially given his current conditon. As for Leshoure and Scheffler, it may be wise to check Sunday morning prior to gametime. Leshoure appears to be a game-time decision, and, even if Scheffler is healthy enough to play, the Lions could limit him to preserve is longevity for the season. Running back Kevin Smith should get the bulk of the carries if Leshoure is unable to go, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew can be just as effective in the Lions passing attack.