Lions QB Matthew Stafford will start Sunday vs. the Titans

After seeming very unlikely to play against the Titans, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is now trending toward starting on Sunday.

Late in last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was sidelined by a rib injury that prevented him from finishing. His status for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans has not looked good all week, but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the veteran signal caller is “preparing to start”.

Stafford has been playing with an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand for weeks, but he has not missed a game. Over those last five games (the injury came early in Week 10 against Washington), he has posted a single-game passer rating over 100 three times while averaging 279 yards per game and completing 65.8 percent of his passes.

Stafford started his career with an injury-prone label, as knee and shoulder injuries limited him to just 13 starts over his first two seasons. But from the start of the 2011 season to halfway through last season, when a back injury ultimately sidelined him for the season, he started every game for the Lions (139 straight, counting playoffs).

Stafford was surprisingly able to practice on a limited basis Friday, which has created the optimism he could start against the Titans. Still, it’ll likely go right up to the Lions putting him through pregame warmups and declaring inactives Sunday to know if he actually will. The 5-8 Lions enter the week with a literal one percent chance to make the playoffs, and quite frankly with a new GM and head coach coming in they’d benefit from losing. Even limited, Stafford gives them a solid chance to upset the Titans.

If Stafford is unable to go Sunday, Chase Daniel would make his first start since October of 2019 with the Chicago Bears–and the sixth start of his 11-year NFL career.