It wasn’t long ago that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had the Motor City on pins and needles about his health. After suffering debilitating injuries two straight seasons, it looked as though Stafford was curse and so too were the Lions.
A lot has changed since then, as Stafford as managed to sat healthy for the most part and is one of the bright young quarterbacks in the NFL — and on of the more handsomely paid as well. But that injury concern is forever attached to him and Jim Caldwell is a guy who lost his job in Indianapolis thanks to an injured quarterback.
It’s because of Stafford’s injury past and Caldwell’s past with Peyton Manning’s injury that may prompt the Lions to pursue a veteran quarterback — namely former Joe Lombardi understudy Luke McCown.
If Shaun Hill doesn’t return to the Lions — and there’s a chance he does –Luke McCown would be a smart bet as a veteran option. There is little chance Jim Caldwell is going to want to go into his first season in Detroit with no experienced backup for Matthew Stafford, especially after what happened to Caldwell during his final season in Indianapolis. That year, Peyton Manning was injured and the Colts had to go with an inexperienced backup, leading to a bad season and his eventual firing. So expect Detroit to have a veteran ready to work behind Stafford and then either Kellen Moore or a rookie quarterback as a third, developmental option.
Adding a veteran makes sense if Shaun Hill doesn’t return. The market for veteran backups isn’t deep though, as Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Buffalo have all made up their minds already and all three were destinations for Hill.
If he returns, that solves the problem but if he doesn’t, Detroit will be in the market for a veteran backup this summer.