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It would be a difficult blow for Stafford if he did miss time, considering he has been one of the most durable quarterbacks in the league in recent years following the difficult early portion of his career. He played a full 16-game schedule every season from 2011 through 2016 and threw for more than 4,000 yards and at least 20 touchdowns in each.
He has followed that up with 1,116 passing yards and nine touchdown throws to just one interception in the early going in 2017 and is Detroit’s best chance at remaining in the NFC North race.
The Lions would likely turn toward Jake Rudock if Stafford couldn’t go against New Orleans. The youngster has never played in a regular-season NFL contest, so Detroit would likely utilize short passes and the playmakers around him to simplify the game and keep the team competitive in the short term if needed.