BBAO: Matthew Stafford's diagnosis

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Thanks to a statement from the Detroit Lions and the usual excellent reporting from ESPN's Chris Mortensen, we finally have some clarity on quarterback Matthew Stafford's 9-day-old right shoulder injury.

Stafford visited Monday with Dr. James Andrews, whom the Lions say confirmed their original diagnosis and endorsed their rehabilitation plan. The Lions did not provide details, but Mortensen reported Stafford suffered a Grade 3 separation of his shoulder Nov. 7 against the New York Jets. Stafford will spend the next two weeks in rehabilitation, Mortensen reported, and then will determine whether he can return to the field at that point. A cortisone shot could be administered during the process.

Season-ending surgery remains an option if the rehabilitation plan doesn't provide the necessary progress. At best, Stafford could play perhaps the final month of the season.

I know how important it is for Stafford to get back on the field, but the idea of rushing back on a twice-separated shoulder sounds scary to me. The Lions have their entire future, not to mention more than $40 million, invested in him. You can only assume they'll take every precaution necessary.

Continuing around the NFC North: