Now that Shanahan has shut down the face of his franchise for specious reasons, reporters are left to wonder if other NFL coaches will bench their own franchise quarterbacks on nothing more than a whim.
Legendary beat writer and contributing columnist Mike O'Hara kicked off Tuesday's Detroit Lions news conference by asking embattled coach Jim Schwartz if he's considered yanking Matthew Stafford as a direct response to the quarterback's lone subpar two-game stretch of the season.
Stafford is arguably the most physically gifted passer in the game. He's third in the league in passing yards (4,208) and fourth in touchdowns (28). He ranks first in NFL history in attempts, completions and passing yards per game. He has been a top-10 mainstay on Gregg Rosenthal's Quarterback Index for the entire season.
More telling than all of those statistics is the mega contract signed by Stafford in July, making him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
Quite simply, quarterbacks of Stafford's stature are never in danger of getting benched with the playoffs on the line.
Oddly enough, Schwartz offered the courtesy of more than just a guffaw in response to the question.
"I haven't considered making a change," Schwartz said. "Matt's our quarterback and he's going to remain our quarterback and he's going to play well for us. We're one down with two to play. A lot of things can happen over the next two weeks, and Matt is a big part of our ability to be successful."
Stafford can now sleep soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that journeyman Shaun Hill isn't nipping at his heels any more than Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are worried about Luke McCown and Brock Osweiler under their beds.