The Detroit Lions aren't going to give us any hints about the status of quarterback Matthew Stafford this week, so we're going to have to take the clues we get and add them up at the end of the week to predict whether he'll play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Clue No. 1: Stafford did not practice Wednesday, according to reporters on scene. He rested a strained right leg muscle, an injury that forced him out of last Sunday's 44-41 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and watched as backup Shaun Hill worked with the first team. The other quarterback on the Lions' roster is rookie Kellen Moore.
It's not unusual for injured players to skip practice during the week and still make their regular start. All we know at this point is Stafford's injury is significant enough to make rest more valuable than practice time.
Stafford has started 19 consecutive games after missing 19 of the first 32 in his career because of injuries. He played through a broken finger in 2011, and I wouldn't come anywhere close to ruling him out for Sunday's game.
Some teams consider resting an injured player before their bye week, looking for two weeks of healing at the cost of one missed game. On the other hand, Stafford would have a full week to rest if he starts against the Vikings. The Lions' bye is next week. Stay tuned.