Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford confident he’ll be back at 100 percent
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK — Matthew Stafford stood in front of his locker, surrounded by a slew of reporters inquiring about the back injury that cost him half a season and spoiled any shot the Detroit Lions had of having a successful season.
Stafford insisted fans of the franchise should not be worried about his health heading into his 12th NFL season, even though back ailments have affected him for two straight years.
“I’m not concerned about it so that should make people feel good,” Stafford said Monday. “I’m the one living with the back. I feel pretty good about it.”
Stafford missed his eighth straight game Sunday when the Lions closed the season with a ninth consecutive loss, dropping them to 3-12-1 for their worst season in a decade.
Detroit drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009. After his career began with a pair of injury-shortened seasons, he didn’t miss a game for eight straight seasons before back and hip ailments limited him to eight games this year.
The Lions still have a lot invested in Stafford with a $135 million deal that keeps him under contract through 2022, and say they’re very confident he will not have lingering health problems.
“No issues there,” general manager Bob Quinn said.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Kenny Golladay was a bright spot during a dismal season, leading the league with 11 receiving touchdowns in his third season. The receiver has one year left on his deal, saying he’s open to signing a long-term extension.
“I’ve already expressed I’m open to it,” he said.
SEE YA, SNACKS?
Damon “Snacks” Harrison said after Sunday’s 23-20 loss to Green Bay he’s pondering retirement. The 31-year-old defensive tackle expressed frustrations that injuries affected his play. Harrison signed an $11 million, one-year extension last summer, putting him under contract through the 2021 season.