| The Detroit News
For the second straight day, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford won’t practice on Thursday, but interim coach Darrell Bevell remains optimistic Stafford will be under center when the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday’s season finale.
“You’re going to have to convince me a lot that this guy is not going to go,” Bevell said. “He’s as tough as they come, tough as nails. He wants to be out there. I think, really, those two things are probably the most important. If the guy wants to — I always say this, I always say that your mind is a powerful thing. You can do a lot if you just believe in that. The guy wants it. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he won’t make it happen, but obviously, we’re going to continue to go through the week and see how it goes.”
Stafford currently is dealing with injuries to his thumb on his throwing hand, his rib cartilage and the newest, a sprained ankle, which knocked him out of last weekend’s game against Tampa Bay in the first quarter.
Stafford has been limited in practice the better part of a month, missing multiple sessions because of the rib issue. And repeating what he did then, Bevell confirmed he doesn’t need to see Stafford on the practice field in order to suit him up on Sunday.
“The guy, he’s dialed in,” Bevell said. “He’s in every meeting. He’s going through all the process of everything that we need him to go through, just to go out and get the physical reps, it’s a little unnecessary. I think I said it in the past, this guy could go on no-reps. Now, do I want him to have reps? Obviously, that’s a positive thing for us. But he knows our offense, he knows what we’re trying to get going on, and he has no issues with being able to function if he doesn’t get reps.”
As for Stafford’s top target, Kenny Golladay, Bevell all but confirmed the star wide receiver will miss his ninth consecutive game.
“Yeah, I don’t think that will happen this week,” Bevell said when asked if Golladay could play.
In the final year of his contract, Golladay will finish the season having appeared in just five games. In those contests he caught 20 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns.