Lions coach: Matthew Stafford can play with injured finger

ByMichael Rothstein via ESPN logo
Monday, December 19, 2016

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- A day after the Detroit Lions lost to the New York Giants 17-6 Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he doesn't believe Matthew Stafford's injured finger will keep him from being able to "perform."

Caldwell, though, admitted it will be an issue as long as he continues to wear his four-fingerless glove like he did Sunday against the Giants.

"Sometimes I think you guys ask questions that you know the answers to but here's a guy that has been holding a football in his bare hand for years and years and years and all of a sudden he's wearing a glove," Caldwell said. "You think there's going to be a difference? These guys aren't any different than concert pianists. These guys aren't any different than any other expert. There is a little difference. There is some adjustment to make there and it's not a non-issue until he doesn't have it on anymore.

"There are things. Now, can he perform with it? There's no question he can perform with it. I think it's 'cause of his mindset and his ability, he can get it done. And I think we'll be fine in that regard."

Stafford said he felt "pretty good" after playing with the glove, when he completed 24-of-39 passes for 273 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He attempted multiple deep passes throughout the first half, hitting on one big play, a 67-yard reception to Golden Tate.

He injured the hand the week before against Chicago, when he "clapped hands" with the Bears' Leonard Floyd while committing an intentional grounding penalty during a busted play.