We have a few items to catch up on here Monday afternoon, and we'll start with two significant injuries the Detroit Lions are dealing with. Quarterback Matthew Stafford (right shoulder) and place-kicker Jason Hanson (right knee) are both going to miss an undetermined amount of time because of injuries suffered in Sundays' 23-20 loss to the New York Jets.
Stafford suffered an AC joint sprain in the same shoulder earlier this season, costing him five starts. Coach Jim Schwartz told reporters that the latest injury is unrelated but wouldn't say if it is more or less severe. Schwartz did say that surgery isn't necessary, but it appears Stafford will at least miss Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills.
The injury leaves the Lions shorthanded at quarterback, where backup Shaun Hill is only three weeks removed from breaking his left forearm. Schwartz said he is holding out hope that Hill will be ready for Sunday's game, but there seems to be a pretty good chance that No. 3 quarterback Drew Stanton will make the start.
From a big-picture perspective, Stafford's latest injury is a significant blow to the Lions' long-term development A franchise quarterback has to stay on the field to retain that status, and Sunday will mark the 12th game Stafford has missed because of injury since the start of the 2009 season. Here's how Schwartz addressed that issue Monday:
"I don't question his durability at all. He hasn't been able to play as much as he'd like to play, but he hasn't been hampered by hangnails or headaches or anything like that. He's been hit by 290-pound guys going full speed."
Technically, Schwartz's statement is true. But tell me a quarterback in this league who isn't being hit by 290-pound guys going full speed. It's part of the gig. A successful long-term quarterback must able to absorb a certain amount of that to play at this level. To this point, Stafford has not.
Meanwhile, the Lions are setting up tryouts for place-kickers this week in anticipation of Hanson being unable to resume his duties for a while. He suffered the injury Sunday when Jets defensive lineman Trevor Pryce ran into him after a field goal attempt. Hanson has missed only one game in a 19-year career dating back to 1992.