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Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford opens up about ‘different,’ ‘stressful’ week, toll of being away from family

Matthew Stafford’s daughter, Hunter, had fallen off her high chair onto a granite floor Friday night and the Detroit Lions quarterback didn’t know what to do. He was quarantined in a Detroit-area hotel away from his family due to NFL COVID-19 protocols after he came into close contact with an infected person. His wife, Kelly, couldn’t find anyone to watch their other three daughters.

So Stafford jumped in the car Friday night and started to head home.

“It’s a long story,” Stafford said Sunday, after his team lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-20. “But yeah, I was on my way home.”

Stafford had told the story to CBS during a production meeting, which reporter Melanie Collins shared before Sunday’s game. Stafford didn’t want to go into details again after the game, but Collins reported he called general manager Bob Quinn and told him he would have to break protocol and be unable to play Sunday.

Collins said he was a mile from home when Kelly found someone to take care of the kids. He turned around, returned to the hotel and stayed away from his family and in protocol. Hunter ended up with a concussion, and Kelly explained what happened Saturday on Instagram.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

After Sunday’s game, Stafford said Hunter was “doing OK.”7

“That was probably the closest it got [to not playing] and obviously just depended on if I continued to test negative,” Stafford said. “But the plan, early on in the week, was that if I continued to test negative that I’ll be able to show up on Saturday night and do all the meetings virtually and all that kind of stuff and then play.

“So the week was obviously a different one, a little bit of a stressful one, but no excuse, got to come out and play better.”

Stafford did play against Minnesota, completing 23 of 32 passes for 211 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions before leaving to be checked for a concussion in the fourth quarter. He cleared concussion protocol and then spoke with the media, where he explained how difficult the week was for him.

In terms of football, Stafford was able to be in meetings and watch practices virtually, and he constantly communicated with backups Chase Daniel and David Blough while trying to stay mentally ready himself. It was being away from his family that was the hard part and the part that weighed on him.

It’s also the part he’s still unsure of. While Stafford said he believed he’d be able to fly back to Detroit with the team, he was under the impression after the game he would have to remain quarantined from his family.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s not something I take lightly. I understand it’s a pandemic and people’s health and safety are at risk, and I would feel terrible if I brought that in and infected a bunch of teammates or coaches or whatever it is,” Stafford said. “So I understand it. Doesn’t make it easy, but everybody in the league is doing it.

“I just hate being away from my family, you know, and finish a practice, finish a game, go hug my daughters, hug my wife. That’s what sometimes makes it worth it for me, and not being able to see them and hang with them has been really tough. But there’s other people dealing with the same kind of stuff I am. That’s just the hard part for me.”