Matthew Stafford says he made ‘right decision’ to sit out Bears game
5:31 PM ET
Michael RothsteinESPN Staff Writer
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Monday he wanted to be on the field Sunday but ultimately did what he felt was best for the team in sitting against the Chicago Bears, snapping his 136-game start streak.
“Ultimately, I think, made the right decision,” Stafford said. “Giving my pads to somebody else and go play.”
Stafford is once again dealing with a back injury, although he stressed it is a different injury than one he had last season, which he played through. Lions coach Matt Patricia classified him as day-to-day and week-to-week earlier Monday, something Stafford confirmed.
Stafford said he has no interest in shutting it down for the season.
“That’s not my thinking at the moment,” Stafford said. “My thinking is to try and be out there as soon as I possibly can to help us win.”
Stafford said a bunch of people had input into whether or not he would start – or play – in the Lions’ 20-13 loss to the Bears. At one point, he considered dressing to be available if the team needed him to hand off at the end or hold for an extra point – anything he could do to help.
The 31-year-old quarterback said he knew Saturday he wouldn’t start the game but thought he could still dress. Stafford said the decision Sunday would have been whether or not he dressed as an emergency player.
He called watching the game Sunday “an odd feeling” and one he hadn’t been used to in the past.
“I was probably in one of the weirder places I’ve been mentally in a long time watching that game,” Stafford said. “Just trying to pull for the guys.”
Stafford said that during the week, he took his typical amount of reps – if not more – and felt good. He was surprised by what the scans showed Friday. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Stafford’s injury involves fractured bones in his back.
“Obviously, I want to be out there with the guys,” Stafford said. "I think it was the right decision, a collective decision. But it’s tough. I love playing this game.
“Work really hard to try and be out there for my teammates, but I wasn’t able to do it, so a tough pill to swallow. I thought Jeff did a great job, played great, and I think the guys rallied around him, which is good.”
Stafford has thrown for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. In Week 7, he became the fastest quarterback in league history to pass for 40,000 yards.