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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.