Matthew Stafford’s first missed game since 2010 came as a shock to everyone. So much of a shock that the NFL decided the Detroit Lions violated the rules in the run-up to the game.
The league has fined the Lions $75,000 as an organization, along with personal fines for head coach Matt Patricia ($25,000) and general manager Bob Quinn ($10,000), for violating the injury report policy over Stafford’s injury on Nov. 10, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The $110,000 total bill comes after a reported investigation by the NFL into the matter, which came before the Lions’ 20-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.
When did the Lions decide to sit Stafford?
Per Quinn at the time, Stafford’s back fractures occurred during the end of the previous week’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
Stafford was reported to be practicing on a limited basis all week, then was given a “questionable” status heading into the Bears game. Once Stafford reported the stadium on Sunday, team doctors refused to clear him.
Patricia and Quinn insisted that the decision to not play Stafford didn’t come until Sunday, but Stafford contradicted them by saying he knew he wasn’t playing as soon as Saturday and other players also reportedly said they were told on Saturday that Jeff Driskel was starting instead. Stafford is now reportedly expected to miss at least six weeks.
After looking into the situation, the NFL apparently decided the Lions weren’t entirely above board with Stafford. It could have been worse though, as the Free Press reports stripping the team of draft picks was also on the table.
This is the second time a team has been fined for not properly reporting their quarterback’s injury, as the Pittsburgh Steelers were also fined for not properly reporting Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury.
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