Stafford's Heroics Might Be Grounded Thursday

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is questionable at best for Detroit's Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay with an injured left shoulder.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is questionable at best for Detroit's Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay with an injured left shoulder.

Despite the injury, Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown pass Sunday in the Lions' 38-37 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said an initial X-ray was negative, but he said Stafford needed more tests. He declined to comment when asked if Stafford's shoulder popped out. Stafford said he didn't know if it did.

"There's a lot more that needs to be done," Schwartz said. "But the first thing you wanted to eliminate was a broken collarbone or one of those things."

Stafford took a crushing hit from defensive linemen C.J. Mosley on the second-to-last play of the game, while heaving a Hail Mary pass into the end zone.

Cornerback Brodney Pool intercepted the ball in the end zone, but the Browns were flagged for pass interference, giving the Lions one more chance at the 1-yard line with no time left.

Stafford came off the field in obvious pain. He lay on the sideline with doctors hovering over him as backup quarterback Daunte Culpepper came into the game. But then the Browns called timeout to set their defense for the final play.

"I heard timeout over the loudspeaker and knew that was probably my only chance of getting back in," Stafford said. "It was my left shoulder. Don't really need it to throw."

Stafford said he told the doctors to help him up. When they didn't, he insisted.

"Once one of them helped me up," Stafford said, "they weren't going to stop me."

No one had a chance.

"He popped up, and all the team doctors said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,'" Schwartz said. "I said, 'What does he have?' They said, 'We don't even know.' ... It's a good thing our team doctors didn't play on the varsity, because Matt had to work his way onto the field there."

Schwartz said the Lions would have kept Stafford on the sideline had the injury been to his throwing shoulder.

"His right arm was good," Schwartz said. "He'd come way too far in that game to not finish it."

Stafford took the snap and quickly fired the ball to tight end Brandon Pettigrew for a touchdown.

"I was in some good pain, but the play goes on," Stafford said. "It didn't feel good, but I didn't care. It was one play. I knew I didn't have to play too much, just one snap, and try to throw a TD."

Asked if Stafford could play Thursday against Green Bay, Schwartz said it was probably too soon to tell. Stafford, his shoulder wrapped in bandages and ice, just laughed.

"That's a great question," Stafford said.

TRENDING: The catch was huge for Pettigrew, the 20th overall pick in the draft. He finished with six catches for 72 yards. "I think we saw him today play the way we expected when we drafted him," Schwartz said. "A big target in the red zone. There was no hesitation on Scott (Linehan)'s part to call that play. It was a play that we'd worked on. It was a play that we liked against their defense. We liked the guy that was going to get the ball."

LINEUP WATCH: With Stephen Peterman on injured reserve, Daniel Loper started at right guard. He threw a key block on the Hail Mary play that drew the pass interference, keeping linebacker Marcus Bernard from catching Stafford from behind -- at least before Stafford got clobbered by Mosley.

Individual Player Notes:

  • S Ko Simpson left Sunday's game with a knee injury.
  • WR Derrick Williams did not play Sunday because of a hip injury. He practiced some last week and might have a chance to play Thursday against Green Bay.
  • S Kalvin Pearson did not play Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He didn't practice last week and seems doubtful for Thursday's game against Green Bay.
  • LB Ernie Sims did not play Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He didn't practice last week and seems doubtful for Thursday's game against Green Bay.
  • DE Dewayne White did not play Sunday because of a toe injury. He didn't practice last week and seems doubtful for Thursday's game against Green Bay.

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