Lions GM: Stafford's absence won't affect draft plans

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Matthew Stafford figures to be away from the Detroit Lions this offseason as his wife, Kelly, battles a brain tumor.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Thursday that the quarterback's absence from the team will not affect how Detroit attacks the 2019 NFL Draft.

"I've had a lot of conversation with Matt over the last few weeks. I would say that my prayers, and the organization's prayers are with him and his family and Kelly's situation," Quinn told reporters at his pre-draft presser. "Out of respect for his -- he kind of wants to keep everything private, so I'm going to leave it at that. I don't want to avoid your question. I just want to... He's asked us to keep everything private."

Kelly announced on Instagram earlier this month that she planned to undergo brain surgery this month to combat a "tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves."

Matthew Stafford was not in attendance for the start of Detroit's voluntary workouts this week, but is expected to return to the club sometime this spring, per the Detroit Free Press.

Entering his 11th season as the Lions' starting quarterback, Stafford has four years remaining on a five-year extension signed in 2017.

Detroit owns the eighth overall pick in the draft. While it's highly unlikely that the Lions would use that early of a selection on a quarterback, Detroit could address the QB position in later rounds.

The Lions currently employ Connor Cook and recently acquired Tom Savage as backups to Stafford.

Far more likely than the Lions picking their QB of the distant future at No. 8 is them trading down from that selection, something Quinn suggested was possible earlier this month.

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