Matthew Stafford (back) could miss up to six weeks

Having notably started 136 straight games, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will miss his second straight contest on Sunday -- due to tiny, non-displaced fractures in the upper thoracic spine -- and could miss up to a month and a half, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on GameDay Morning.

Stafford is hopeful, however, of beating that timeline.

The plan going forward, Rapoport added, is to have another scan later this week to determine Stafford's status going forward. It's a process that will be repeated until Stafford gains clearance.

At this point, there is no firm timeline as it's as simple as how the bones will heal.

There is a chance, though a slim one, that it could be in time for Week 12, but it could just as likely be all the way until Week 17.

Nonetheless, there is reason for optimism that's already been provided as Stafford practiced ahead of missing Week 10 and he was given every chance to prove he could play before he was ultimately ruled out.

Stafford's injury comes amid one of his best seasons. The 31-year-old has thrown for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns to just five interceptions in eight games with a career-high 106.0 passer rating.

In Stafford's absence, Jeff Driskel has taken over the starting quarterback reins and is set to start Sunday against the Cowboys and until Stafford's return -- whenever that ends up being.

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