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#pounditThursday, June 17, 2021

Matthew Stafford has been playing through back injury since last season

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford will not play in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears because of a back injury, but the ailment is hardly a new one. There was talk that he played through broken bones in his back last season, and apparently the Detroit Lions quarterback has been doing so again this year.

Stafford’s injury is the same one that forced him to play through pain in 2018, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. He was in severe pain leading up to Detroit’s Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs and almost didn’t play, but he ended up gutting it out and throwing for 291 yards and three touchdowns.

Tests have revealed fractured bones in Stafford’s back, and it’s unclear what changed that doctors now will not clear him to play. Because the injury is the same one he has played through in the past, a source told Schefter that it’s hard to say if it will sideline him for just this week or several weeks.

Stafford’s wife Kelly shared a message on Instagram Sunday saying Matthew has battled through “much more than anyone knows” and she is happy his body will get some time to heal.

Stafford had made 136 consecutive starts heading into Sunday, which was the second longest streak among active quarterbacks. He faced some criticism for his play last year, but it sounds like the back injury has been having an impact for quite some time.

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