Lion defender Matthew Stafford flew privately to Minnesota and is expected to start on Sunday meeting Vikings, despite having spent an entire week of isolation and unable to practice after close contact with an intermittent team that tested positive for COVID-19.
However, that doesn’t mean Stafford isn’t getting any representation.
According to the sources, Stafford received the Lions practice script every morning and participated in almost every meeting. He can watch the training session almost live, thanks to a system that records videos of each play as they unfold.
Detroit has video boards that record the practice as it progresses, and players on the field can see their representatives instantly. Stafford also has access to that.
Then, during Lions̵7;s usual blitz pick-up exercise on Friday, Stafford’s computer was connected to loud concert-style PA speakers so he could lead the drill. Still quarantined and monitored via Zoom, Stafford called safeguards and checked if any defenses were dialed, and the remaining criminals announced the call as if Stafford are in an in-house practice facility with them.
Is it getting any more 2020 than that?
Stafford’s “high risk” close contact with an individual close to his family was on Monday. According to the latest NFL-NFLPA protocols, he is quarantined for five days. That means he isn’t allowed to travel with the Lions on Saturday or rejoin the team until his latest PCR test results are returned from a Sunday morning lab.
Instead, Stafford – who was officially activated from the reserve list / COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon – took a private jet to Minnesota. He was forced to stay in another area of the team hotel, and had no interactions with anyone on the team.
Anyway, Lions is using the COVID-19 intensive protocol, so all meetings are virtual. He’s completely involved mentally, just can’t do it physically.
Backups Chase Daniel and David Blough have performed hands-on, real-life reps for the week. But, as long as his latest test turns negative on Sunday morning, Stafford will be at the center for a big NFC North game against the Vikings.
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