CHICAGO -- Tests are incomplete on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who did not return to Sunday's game here after injuring his right shoulder at the end of a second-quarter sack. We won't speculate recklessly, but needless to say, an injured throwing shoulder is generally not a good thing for a quarterback.
"He had a shoulder injury," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, "... and wasn't able to finish. We still have to do all the tests but it was significant enough to not put him back in the game. It's too soon to know if or how long he'll be out."
Stafford's frustration level after the injury suggested it might be a while. He threw his helmet into the ground and stomped around the Lions' sideline for several moments after his initial examination. He was wearing a sling during the second half and said: "It's not fun. I worked hard to come back from the other injuries I had and I felt we were doing pretty good on offense and moving the ball well. So it's not exactly what you want on opening day."
Indeed, I can understand Stafford's anger. He spent much of last season dealing with a knee injury as well as a separated left shoulder. All told, he missed six games and said during an interview in training camp that the best asset of any quarterback is "being available."
"I got to play 10 games last year and missed six because of injury," he said. "Hopefully I can get that down to zero. It kills me to be injured. I'll do anything to be on the field."
Backup Shaun Hill would be the Lions' starter for the duration of any time Stafford might be out.