Matthew Stafford: Injury won't affect game plan


Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions haven't played a game outdoors since a Week 4 loss to the Chicago Bears, the worst game of the quarterback's year. 

Sunday the Lions head to New Jersey for their first game outside since Oct. 2. Stafford will not only be contending with a stifling New York Giants defense and potential precipitation, but an injured middle finger.

The MVP candidate won't miss the game. Stafford was seen wearing a modified, fingerless glove during practice on Wednesday, which covers the injury but gives him the dexterity to throw the ball as normal as possible.

"Still kind of working on it," Stafford said, via the team's official website. "Threw a little bit in the walkthrough, still working on it, figuring out what's going to be best come Sunday.

"I'm going to try to prepare throughout the week like it's a game, whether that's glove or not. I'm still working on it, but whatever I end up doing in the game will not just be a guess. It will be something I've worked on."

Stafford was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.

Stafford injured the finger early in last week's home win over the Bears. Wearing a glove clearly bothered Stafford as he appeared to lose some zip and touch on his passes. Stafford completed 85.7 percent of throws with a 96.4 passer rating before the injury compared to 53.6 percent and a 54.6 rating after getting hurt. 

Stafford insisted the injury won't affect the game plan versus the Giants.

"Yeah, we went and played, even last Sunday Jim Bob (Cooter) was like, 'You know, what kind of limitation is it?' 'Just go call the game, don't worry about me, I'll figure it out,''" Stafford said. "Plan on being the same way this week."

The Lions sit two games up in the NFC North, but with a difficult closing stretch against New York, Dallas and Green Bay, the playoffs aren't a lock for Detroit. Stafford's performance against a Giants defense that boasts one of the best secondaries in the NFL will go a long way to determining the Lions' postseason fate.