CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks for receiver against the Chicago Bears during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Lions' Matthew Stafford Says He Is 100 Percent Healthy

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he had in January.

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Lions' Matthew Stafford Fully Recovered From Shoulder Surgery

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has had an injury-filled first two years in the NFL. Most of those injuries have been related to his shoulders, including two last season that hurt his throwing shoulder. To fix the injury issues and hopefully prevent them in the future, Stafford had surgery on his right shoulder in January. Since then he has been rehabbing and working to become 100 percent healthy, and Stafford said on Monday he is back to full health.

"I feel great," Stafford said before a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan promotional appearance at Grand Rapids Community College. "Healthwise, I feel as good as I ever have, so I’m ready to go."

Stafford is not only ready to go, but he is excited for the 2011 season. He is pumped to be healthy and to get to play with the players the Lions selected in the draft.

"I’m excited about, No. 1, being healthy going into the year and, hopefully, playing all 16 games or more," Stafford said. "We have all the core guys, major guys, coming back, which is great, and we’ve added some new guys: (Nick) Fairley and Leshoure and Young. Those are guys that we’re looking to help us out as much as they can early on, and I’m excited about it."

Stafford actually threw passes to Titus Young over the weekend. Young flew to Atlanta to work out with Calvin Johnson and Stafford, getting in some time with them before a larger contingent of players gets together for workouts this week.


Lions QB Matthew Stafford Planning To Throw At Georgia Spring Game

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford began throwing almost three weeks ago, two months after having shoulder surgery. Evidently, things are progressing so well in his rehab that Stafford plans to air it out for his alma mater this weekend.

The University of Georgia says Stafford and other former Bulldogs quarterbacks will take part in a skills competition during halftime of UGA’s spring football game Saturday.


At halftime of G-Day [the culmination of the football team’s spring practices], former Bulldogs David Greene, D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford and Zeier will participate in the Legends Quarterbacks Challenge. The quarterbacks can earn points for various skills. A contestant paired with the winning quarterback will have an opportunity to make a 25-yard pass into a barrel to win $25,000 to be split by the contestant and the Johnathan Taylor Fund.

Contestants can bid for a chance to be in the contest and catch passes from Stafford, David Greene or Eric Zeier. The Detroit News reports that the high bid to be Stafford’s partner in the contest is $350.

Gregg Rosenthal joked at Pro Football Talk that Lions coach Jim Schwartz should get into the bidding, win the auction, and make sure that Stafford doesn’t throw in the contest. (Or maybe Stafford wouldn’t be allowed to throw to Schwartz, because that would make the contest an OTA, which isn’t allowed during the NFL lockout.) There’s also a chance that Stafford will opt not to throw in the contest, and just make an appearance as a former Georgia quarterbacking star.

So if you’re down in Athens this weekend and get a chance to check out Georgia’s spring game, let us know how Stafford looks. (Hopefully, Stafford will also give us a first-hand account on Twitter.)


Matthew Stafford Begins Throwing

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has begun throwing almost exactly two months after having shoulder surgery.

Stafford had surgery on his right AC joint on Jan. 21. The Detroit Free Press reported that Stafford had begun throwing via the quarterback’s Twitter account:

On his Twitter account, Stafford posted this late Wednesday: “Just got done throwin shoulder is feeling good…staying in Athens with the boys for a few more unexpected days.”

And of course in the spirit of all the love of the NFL lockout, Stafford later posted this tweet confirming further workouts:

He tweeted again later this morning: “Heading to rehab, lift, and run…never know when the owners will let us back in to start playing.”

This is great news for Lions fans, assuming that there is a season next year. Detroit was one of the hottest teams in the NFL at the end of last season despite having to play with second and third-string quarterbacks. While Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill played admirably in his absence, Stafford is the best talent at the position on the team by a longshot.


Matthew Stafford Injury Update: Lions Place Him On Injured Reserve

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's season is over. The Lions placed the second-year quarterback on injured reserve today, ending any chance of him returning this season.

Stafford has been out ever since the Jets game. After putting the Lions in position to win, Stafford suffered a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and was out not only the rest of the game, but the last eight weeks of the season. So far he has missed six straight games, and after the season wraps up with contests against the Dolphins and Vikings, Stafford will have missed eight consecutive games.

Earlier in the season, Stafford missed five straight games after suffering his first right shoulder injury in Week 1 of the season. Stafford was out for a span of seven weeks, finally returning after a bye week to play the Redskins. The Lions won the game and it was Stafford's only game that he played from start to finish this season.

On the year, Stafford will have missed 13 total games, as well as an entire half in the first game of the season. Last year, he missed six games because of injuries, meaning in his first two years in the NFL Stafford will have played in only 13 games while missing 19. That's not a ratio any player wants to have.

With Stafford for sure not rehabbing with the intent of playing again this season, he will be able to concentrate on simply getting healthy for the upcoming offseason. According to Tom Kowalski, Stafford said surgery isn't an option currently and that he thinks he will be back to 100 percent health by March, when the Lions have their first OTAs (assuming there isn't a lockout, of course).

To fill Stafford's spot on the roster for the final two games of the 2010 season, the Lions signed safety Randy Phillips off the practice squad.


Matthew Stafford Lightly Throws At Practice

Matthew Stafford's return doesn't appear to be imminent, but he did continue to progress with his rehab by throwing short passes during practice today. The throws were no longer than 12 yards and he only did about a dozen of them, but at the very least it looks like he is working his way back from his second right shoulder injury of the season.

The Lions have maintained all along that they hoped to get Stafford back in the lineup before the end of the season. If there aren't any setbacks, it appears that Stafford might be ready for the final game or two, but no timetable has been established. The Lions will continue to be very cautious with Stafford's recovery.

Originally I figured the Lions would shut Stafford down for the season and look ahead to 2011, but if he is healthy enough to play, I do see the value in getting him playing time. You obviously don't want to risk injury, but the Lions need to see if Stafford can take hits without being hurt.

My original hope was that Stafford would just rehab the rest of the season and not take a chance of getting hurt again, but I'm starting to change my tune a bit. If he is completely healthy and there's no risk of suffering the same injury by rushing back, then I say play him. Getting reps and taking hits will help him get back into game shape, even if it is only for a week or two. Like I said before, you obviously don't want to risk another injury, but at some point he has to show he can stay healthy, so why not the last two games of the season?


Report: Surgery Still A Possibility For Lions' Matthew Stafford

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that surgery is still an option for Matthew Stafford’s injured right shoulder.

Stafford saw specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday and the Detroit Lions released a statement saying Andrews’s diagnosis was “consistent with the evaluation and diagnosis” of the team’s medical staff.

With that news, the Lions said that Stafford would continue rehabilitating his shoulder and a return this season wasn’t ruled out.

However, Mortensen also had this:

The source also said that Stafford could opt for a cortisone injection after rehabbing the shoulder during the next two weeks to see if he could return before the end of the season.

So it appears that there won’t be any decisions made for at least two weeks.

If Stafford makes progress in his rehabilitation, a cortisone shot could reduce inflammation and perhaps he could play again. But if there’s still pain, reduced range of motion and/or inability to throw a football, then Stafford would obviously be shut down and the possibility of surgery to fix the shoulder would be raised again.


Lions Release Statement On Matthew Stafford; Return This Season Is Reportedly Possible

As expected, a report on Matthew Stafford's injured throwing shoulder has been released by the Lions after he was squeezed in to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama today:

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was examined today by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Andrews informed the team today that his evaluation of Matthew’s injury (which occurred November 7 against the New York Jets) is consistent with the evaluation and diagnosis of the Lions’ medical staff.

Matthew will continue the rehabilitation process that he began last week under the supervision of the team’s medical staff.

Just before the Lions released the pretty open-ended statement seen above, Freep beat reporter Dave Birkett said that he was told Stafford's injury will not require surgery and Stafford has a chance of returning this season after rehab. 

We can reasonably infer from the statement that he doesn't need surgery, but Schwartz will never confirm anything beyond that:

Stafford will be back when he's healthy and ready. There's really no time table on it. Any speculation does a disservice to it.  

I'll go ahead and be irresponsible here by saying I don't think Stafford will return this season (and it'd be irresponsible of the Lions to let him return for meaningless games at the end of the season), but even if he does return, we're most likely only going to hear, "he's on track with his rehab," up until the week he's ready to play. If the Lions knew for sure that he wasn't going to return this season, though, they would simply put him on IR, so they could get an extra roster spot. For what it's worth, they waited a couple weeks before putting him on IR last season when he had his knee and shoulder injuries.


Report: Matthew Stafford Possibly Out For Season

No timetable has been established for Matthew Stafford's return from his latest right shoulder injury, and if what happened earlier this season is any indication, no timetable will be made public, either. Even so, Tom Kowalski reported this earlier today:

The Detroit Lions fear that quarterback Matthew Stafford might be lost for the season, according to a source close to the situation, after preliminary tests showed that he has a Grade 3 separation of his right shoulder.

Stafford's right shoulder injury that kept him out during the first part of the season was a Grade 2 separation. A Grade 3 would likely keep him out for the rest of the season and force the Lions to place the former No. 1 overall pick on injured reserve.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was asked about this report during a radio interview. As expected, he declined to share any information with the public about Stafford's injury.

"We don’t share results of MRIs or anything else with members of the media or anybody else other than the player and the staff here," Schwartz said in his weekly radio show on WXYT 97.1-FM. "Matt wasn’t able to finish the game; he was very sore, and we’ll get him back on the field as soon as we can. And that’s been our approach with reporting injuries from the very beginning."

Although the Lions don't want to make any information about Stafford public, if he's done for the year we will obviously find out. The team would have to place him on injured reserve, ending Stafford's season. It's unclear if that move would happen this week or if additional time to gather information is necessary, but I have a feeling we'll find out if Stafford will be back at all in 2010 sometime this week.


Matthew Stafford Doesn't Think He Will Play Against Bills

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford left Sunday's game against the Jets late in the fourth quarter with a right shoulder injury. Stafford came down on the same shoulder that kept him out for the first part of the season and immediately appeared to be in pain. Although the fall didn't seem to be all that hard (he simply was caught from behind on a scramble and landed on the shoulder), it injured his right shoulder again, causing him to miss the final minutes of the Jets game.

Jim Schwartz said on Monday that Stafford did not aggravate the injury from earlier this season. According to what doctors told Schwartz, this is a new injury and Stafford's old injury was healed, so "it's starting over from square one." Schwartz didn't reveal too much else about Stafford's injury, declining to say how long it could keep the Lions' starting QB out.

Stafford didn't speak in detail about his injury during his appearance on Mitch Albom's radio show on Monday, but he did say that he probably will miss at least the Bills game this upcoming Sunday.

Making his weekly appearance on Free Press columnist Mitch Albom's radio show tonight, Stafford said, "I don't think so," when asked whether he expects to play Sunday at the Buffalo Bills.

Stafford had an MRI on his right shoulder on Monday. The results of the MRI will likely be sent to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Andrews met with Stafford earlier in the season after the first injury. Although surgery, according to Schwartz, is not an option currently, the Lions want to get a second opinion from someone who has dealt with Stafford's injured shoulder before.


Matthew Stafford Returns To Practice For Lions

Although 18 Lions players missed practice today, the good news is that Matthew Stafford was not one of them.

Stafford, who has been out since the first game of the season with a shoulder injury, was able to give it a go for the first time since getting hurt, further indicating that he will likely play next week against the Redskins. (Detroit has a bye this week.) With Shaun Hill on the sideline watching with an injury of his own, Stafford went through all of the throwing drills, and yesterday in a day filled with interviews, including one with Pride of Detroit, Stafford indicated that he is going to play on Halloween against Washington assuming everything goes according to plan.

Interestingly, Stafford was one of only five starters on offense to actually practice. About half of the starting defense was out as well, so it was a practice filled with backups.


Matthew Stafford Expected To Start Against Redskins

Matthew Stafford has been out for the Lions ever since the first game of the season, but the good news for Detroit fans is that plans calls for him to start in two weeks against the Redskins. Detroit is off next Sunday with a bye, but when they take the field again in two weeks, Stafford should be in the lineup as the starting quarterback.

Although Stafford missed a lot of time, there really wasn't a very big drop off at the quarterback position because Shaun Hill did such a good job starting. The problem now is that Hill is out with an injury of his own, so the importance of Stafford's return has been exemplified. Drew Stanton didn't look terrible against the Giants, but with him there is quite a drop off from Stafford, so it's key that Detroit gets the 2009 No. 1 overall pick back. Thankfully, it appears that if everything goes according to plan, Stafford will in fact be back on Halloween.


Lions' Matthew Stafford To Resume Throwing This Week

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford announced on a Detroit radio interview Monday night that he will begin throwing again this week. This will be the first time since suffering a separated shoulder that he’ll give it “a full-on go.”

Via the Detroit Free Press:

"They’ve told me that I need to try to do some light throwing this week and see how it feels, and I’ll kind of take it from there," Stafford said. "I’ll throw a little bit probably tomorrow or the next day and see how it feels."

In his weekly radio appearance, coach Jim Schwartz says Stafford will do some “light throwing,” and there’s no plan to rush him back onto the field.

"I think we’re happy with where he is based on the injury that he had, and like I said as soon as he’s able to do things like that we’ll sort of cut him loose to do it but not before."

Stafford says he's not rushing himself either, "just trying to do what the doctors are telling me" with his rehabilitation.

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