Former Georgia Bulldog quarterback, Matthew Stafford, was drafted No. 1 overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft.
At the time, he was lauded for his prototype NFL body, big arm, and overall ability to understand the nuances of an NFL offense. He was as close to a sure-thing at quarterback, that year, as the college football ranks could offer and the Lions were more than happy to nab him.
Stafford talked the talk during the off-season and seemed to be destined to walk the walk after he led the team back from a three-touchdown deficit, against the Cleveland Browns, to win a game—bad shoulder and all:
However, a bad shoulder has continually reared it’s ugly head for the young man from Texas since that time as he’s, seemingly, missed more games than he’s played (including six last season) to this point in his career.
To be fair, in 2009, it was a separated left shoulder that caused him to miss time for the Lions. That said, after leaving today’s contest against the New York Jets—a game the Lions were in a position to win—some are starting to question if Stafford is on his way to being another Detroit bust.
It’s a fair question to ask when you consider the Lions are 2-8 with Stafford thus far, but you have to wonder how much of the blame can fall on the kid when he’s playing for a team that has no running game, lacks a consistent pass or run defense, and is still searching for playmakers who aren’t named Calvin Johnson.
You have to admit, it’s a tough haul. A haul that Stafford can’t be held fully responsible for as a second-year guy.
Is he injury prone? That’s debateable, but why not give him another season before smacking that label on him. After all, the Lions are clearly a better team with him on the field, this season, than they are without him.