The good news for the Lions is that quarterback Matthew Stafford did not suffer a serious left shoulder injury in Sunday's stunning 38-37 victory over Cleveland.
The bad news for the Lions — and for a national television audience — is that Stafford is unlikely to play in Thursday's Thanksgiving game against Green Bay if his soreness continues.
Daunte Culpepper is expected to start against the Packers.
"There's a chance that goes away in the next couple days, but structurally everything's good," coach Jim Schwartz said. "I don't think there's any lasting damage, but he's extremely sore, as you can expect. We'll see. You don't want to close the door on anything."
Stafford suffered an AC joint separation on the second-to-last play Sunday. The AC joint connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade. He returned to throw the winning touchdown with no time left.
A TV replay showed him running off the field, apparently saying, "It's out." But Schwartz said: "To me, a shoulder out means it's dislocated and it's hanging. His shoulder wasn't out. But when you do get that AC, it feels that kind of way."
Schwartz said most of the medical tests had come back and showed it was nothing he would label significant. Schwartz usually reserves that word for long-term injuries.
Asked if he could play Thanksgiving, Stafford told WJR-AM (760): "I don't know. We'll see. I'm in a pretty good amount of pain right now, but hopefully it'll start getting better."
"He's way out of bounds on that," said Schwartz, who worked with Mangini in Cleveland and Baltimore. "That couldn't be further than the truth. There was no need to do that to slow the pace down, because the officials were doing a really good job of standing over the ball for us and them."
"It's really not illegal contact when the guy's out of the pocket or scrambling," Mangini told reporters in Cleveland.
Schwartz scoffed at that.
"They don't know what they're talking about," Schwartz said. "You can quote me on that, because when the quarterback's out of the pocket, there can still be pass interference. There can't be illegal contact, but there can be pass interference. And when the ball's in the air, you can't make contact with the receivers. It's clear."
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers' worst fears coming out of their 30-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday were confirmed by head coach Mike McCarthy on Monday.
He announced at his day-after-game news conference that cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman will miss the rest of the season because of knee injuries.
McCarthy didn't elaborate on the extent of each injury, but various reports have indicated that the veteran leaders suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments in their left knees during the second half of Sunday's game.
McCarthy said Harris and Kampman will need surgery.
"It will be a big challenge for our football team," McCarthy said. "Both Aaron and Al have meant a lot to us and our football team. Both have over 100-plus starts.
"Just thinking about it after visiting with Aaron (on Monday), not seeing 74 (Kampman) and 31 (Harris) in the huddle, it's going to be different. But, it's a challenge that our younger players ... they're going to have to step up and get ready on a short week for Detroit."
The Packers (6-4), who have won their last two games, will have to compensate for the losses of the two Pro Bowl players in a hurry.
They will play at the NFC North rival Detroit Lions on Thursday in the Lions' traditional Thanksgiving Day game. Green Bay didn't practice Monday.
The Packers will plug in either rookie Brad Jones or Brady Poppinga to replace Kampman at left outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme.
Jones started for Kampman, who had a concussion, in the Nov. 15 win over the Dallas Cowboys and fared well.
Nickel back Tramon Williams will have a full-time role now with Harris out, but Green Bay might have to rely on untested rookie Brandon Underwood in a situational role.
"It don't matter at this point — they've got to play," veteran cornerback Charles Woodson said. "So, we look for those guys to be prepared come Thursday."
"I would hope not," said McCarthy, when asked whether he thinks Kampman played his last game as a Packer in the 30-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, when Kampman suffered his injury in the second half.
"But, those are all questions for the future," McCarthy added. "Right now, we want to make sure that (Kampman and Harris) get the best care, just like we do for all of our players, and just make sure that we're part of their decisions and help them the best that we can. They've meant a lot to our organization. They've played a lot of football and have been great representatives of the Green Bay Packers, and we want to make sure they're taken care of."
The players had Monday to recover from Sunday's game. They will have a full practice Tuesday, followed by an abbreviated workout Wednesday morning before departing for Detroit in the afternoon.
"Our coaches have been here Thursday, Friday, Saturday (last week) and after the game Sunday getting ready for Detroit," McCarthy said. "So, we'll finalize our game planning throughout the day (Monday), and really Tuesday will be more like a combination of Wednesday and Thursday for us and we'll have a good plan for the Detroit Lions."