Detroit Lions  

 

Matthew Stafford (back/hip) out vs. Bears; Jeff Driskel to start

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford carried a streak of 136 consecutive regular-season starts into Sunday's game against the Bears. In a surprising twist, the ironman stretch is ending.

Stafford is slated to be inactive today, sources say, as he deals with back and hip injuries. Jeff Driskel, the former San Francisco 49ers draft pick who Detroit signed in mid-September, is expected to make the start against Chicago. The team officially announced Stafford as inactive.

It's unclear how Stafford incurred the injury, though he did take a hard shot against the Raiders in a last-second loss last Sunday. He was limited all week, but publicly there did not seem to be concern.

"Had the back injury last week near the end of the Oakland game," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement before Sunday's game. "Practiced on limited all week. Listed him as questionable. Got to the stadium this morning, met with the doctors, and he wasn't medically cleared to play today. So, he's deactivated."

He had an MRI on Friday, and the determination was made over the last few days that Stafford would not be cleared to play. Because the Lions already had David Blough on the roster as a third-stringer, they did not have to make a roster move.

Asked about his status by local reporters on Wednesday, Stafford said, "I'm fine."

"I'll be good to go," Stafford said. "I'm not really worried about it. Something different, but I'm totally good."

The injury is brutal for Detroit and Stafford, who is having one of the best seasons of his career. He's averaging 312.4 passing yards per game and has a career-high passer rating of 106. Now, at least for one game, they'll be without him.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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