Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford ‘sore,’ but no setbacks after practicing with bad ankle

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Matthew Stafford emerged from his limited practice appearance Thursday without suffering any setbacks to his sprained right ankle and continues to trend towards playing in Sunday’s season finale against the Minnesota Vikings.

“He’s still improving,” Detroit Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell said Friday. “I mean, he’s sore, he’s got some issues going on, but he was out there. He didn’t do a ton, but he was limited in practice so see how he goes today and then what it feels like tomorrow.”

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Stafford sprained his ankle in the first quarter of last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and did not practice Wednesday.

Bevell initially said Stafford would miss practice Thursday, but as was the case when Stafford was dealing with a painful rib injury two weeks ago, he worked his way onto the field for a few drills.

“I think he heard that I told you guys he wasn’t practicing,” Bevell joked. “But yeah, I think he just really wanted to do a little bit and just test it out, see where it’s at and then be able to see where it would feel today. So we’ll continue to do that through the week here and see how it goes.”

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Stafford has not missed a start this season, though he has been a regular on the Lions’ injury report the last six weeks.

He partially tore ligaments in his right thumb in a Nov. 15 win over Washington and has played with a brace ever since. Four weeks later, he suffered a rib cartilage injury in a Dec. 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers that remains an issue today.

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What Darrell Bevell learned in his time as Detroit Lions interim coach

Darrell Bevell talks Jan. 1, 2021, ahead of the finale vs. the Minnesota Vikings about what he’s learned in his time as Detroit Lions’ interim coach.

Detroit Lions

Bevell said Thursday that he would put Stafford in harm’s way against the Vikings, but he also expressed optimism about his availability for what could be the final game for both Stafford and Bevell as Lions.

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Stafford has two years left on his contract, but faces an uncertain future with the Lions in the midst of a coach and general manager change.

Linebacker Jamie Collins (neck) and receiver Danny Amendola (personal) will practice Friday, Bevell said, while Tyrell Crosby (ankle), Kenny Golladay (hip) and Joe Dahl (back) remain out.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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