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Tuesday, November 9, 2010
BBAO: Stafford and the injury-prone label

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

As we noted Monday, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is on pace to miss the 12th start of his career because of injury Sunday. In a radio appearance, Stafford addressed his inability to stay on the field since entering the league.
Stafford (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press): "I don't think anybody's injury prone. I think it happens to some people. It doesn't happen to others for whatever reason. I know that I do everything to prepare my body and get my body ready for every game. For one reason or another, I've had injuries in the last couple of years. I've never missed a game in college or high school due to an injury. I guess it's bound to happen at some point. I hate that it's happening now. It's not something I like, something that I expect to be an issue long-term. ... I hope to make it out of the rest of this year without another one and move on from there and have a bunch of years where I'm playing all 16 games and hopefully more in the playoffs."

Obviously, the Lions hope that's the case. And there have been cases in NFL history of quarterbacks whose careers were delayed by early injuries. One of the most-discussed instances is former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, who fought through various ailments during the first four years of his career before finally becoming a 16-game starter in his fifth.

Simms played during a more patient era of the NFL, however. These days, highly-drafted quarterbacks are expected to start immediately and excel relatively quickly. Stafford hasn't given himself a chance to do the latter.

Continuing around the NFC North: