Desperate times calls for desperate measures. And with Matthew Stafford the Lions only healthy quarterback, Detroit's coaching staff might be keeping an eye on the arm of another rookie -- wide receiver Derrick Williams.
The Lions were without Drew Stanton (swelling in knee) and veteran Daunte Culpepper (toe laceration) during Monday's practice, which forced head coach Jim Schwartz to shed nearly a quarter of the team's session.
But although the injuries could resolve themselves without incident, the ball club might turn to an alternate route -- on its own roster.
"(Punter) Nick Harris is taking snaps and he could go finish a game and hand the ball off and things like that," explained Schwartz. "We have a couple of other guys that have played quarterback at some point in the past. Derrick Williams has played some quarterback; he played a lot of quarterback in high school and went to Penn State as a quarterback.
"There’s other ways that we could do it, but that would be an emergency situation only.”
But suggesting Williams at quarterback is nothing to scoff at, either. In fact, the Lions might be inclined to take a peak anyway, especially with the dapper "Wildcat offense" requiring such a talent.
Williams left Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland as the nation's top ranked recruit in 2005, helped in no small part by tossing for 13 touchdowns and running for another nine. He played sparsley at quarterback during his tenure at Penn State, instead starring at receiver. Yet Williams' exploits were enough to warrant the nickname "Jesus Shuttlesworth," a top basketball recruit in a Spike Lee flick.
Fact is, he can play.
And it certainly sounds better than the team's emergency signal caller on Monday: Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
"Scott actually went over and threw with the quarterbacks today when they did their individual and he was doing some jump passes versus pressure and I was just hoping that he didn’t get an Achilles (injury) and have to coach from a golf cart for a few days," joked Schwartz.
The ultimate preseason test for Stafford?
Because of Detroit's short week of practice, they might be forced to run Matthew Stafford all four quarters on Thursday.
Schwartz isn't against the idea, either.
“Yeah, if we had to, but we’d probably try to get somebody else in if the other two weren’t able to play," cautioned Schwartz. "But there’s a lot of time between now and Thursday to sort of get that going. You’d rather not have one guy have to play the whole game.”
Pain in the Toe -- and Knee?
A minor toe laceration might be a major pain for the Lions.
Daunte Culpepper injured a toe on his foot at home, missing Monday's practice after doctors placed eight stiches to "make sure it's secure," according to Schwartz.
"He sort of stubbed it and it wasn’t cut; it stretched his foot and sort of tore up by the top of where his toe is," explained Schwartz. "They put a lot of stitches in, but mainly to secure it.
"It’s probably one of those ones that if you or me had gone to the emergency room they might have put two or three stitches in. With him I think they put eight in just to make sure it’s secure."
Culpepper hasn't been ruled out of Thursday's game. The same news might not apply to Drew Stanton.
Arguably the team's most impressive quarterback during the preseason, Stanton has managed a team best passer rating of 111.8 in his three performances, but could miss the preseason finale.
Stanton, who missed his rookie campaign after undergoing knee surgery, experienced what Schwartz deemed "a lot" of swelling in his knee prior to Monday's practice.
He is expected to sit out Tuesday as the Lions await MRI results.
"He had nothing after (Saturday's) game and had a little bit of swelling on Sunday, but it was nothing major," said Schwartz. "Today he came in this morning with a lot of swelling; so we sent him for an MRI and don’t have the results yet, but obviously he wasn’t able to come out here today."