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Lions QB Stafford won’t need surgery

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Associated Press
September 14, 2010
— The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford are relieved the quarterback doesn’t appear to need surgery on his throwing shoulder.

They’re not saying much else.


“I don’t know what I’m going to miss,” Stafford said Monday.


Stafford was knocked out of the season opener when Chicago’s Julius Peppers sacked him Sunday, putting him on the sideline with a banged-up right shoulder—his third injury in two seasons.


“Week 1, to get dinged up again, it’s not fun,” Stafford said. “I’ll be back out there as soon as I can.”


He missed six games last year as a rookie with a banged-up left shoulder, an injury he said was similar to his current one, and a sore right knee.


Stafford had an MRI exam and Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said it was relatively encouraging.


“We’ve had some good returns from his tests,” Schwartz said. “It doesn’t look like surgery is going to be needed.”


Schwartz said a timetable can’t be put Stafford’s return.


After the Bears beat Detroit, 19-14, Stafford said he wasn’t sure if he would be ready for the home opener this Sunday against Philadelphia. Stafford said his shoulder was sore, but seemed to be somewhat pleased with the condition of his rotator cuff and labrum.


The Lions will take Stafford’s long-term health—and importance to the franchise—into account when deciding when to clear him to play.


“We don’t want to rush him back,” Schwartz said. “We don’t want to put him out there if he’s not able to make all the throws, or if he’s protecting it and can’t take a hit.”


Shaun Hill started the third quarter in place of Stafford and appeared to make a game-winning throw to Calvin Johnson, but it was ruled incomplete.


Hill was added in the offseason, giving the team a veteran backup, but he can’t quite replace Stafford.


“To say he won’t be missed team-wise that would be telling a lie,” running back Kevin Smith said. “But that is why you go out and get depth.”



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