Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has fractured a fractured back and doctors will not let him play Sunday against the Chicago Bears, a source told ESPN.
Stafford trained Friday and made 60-yard passes, but doctors told him to undergo further tests on this painful back injury, according to several sources.
Stafford is now considered week after week with an injury that, according to a source, could be missed during "this week or these 3 weeks". Stafford had started 136 consecutive games in the regular season since Sunday, the sixth-longest series as quarterback in the history of the NFL.
The Lions will turn to Jeff Driskel, who will make his sixth career start Sunday, according to sources. Shaun Hill was the last quarterback of the Lions to play a different game from Stafford in the 17th week of the 2010 season.
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Driskel started five games with Cincinnati last season and completed 59.7% of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Stafford's injury dates back to last season, when he endured the pain and did not miss a match, even though those around him knew how much he was suffering.
The pain was so strong this season that Stafford's status for the Week 4 game in Detroit against The Kansas City leaders were in doubt almost until the coup, according to sources. He managed 291 yards and three touchdowns in this game.
The Lions reported in their injury report that Stafford was questionable five times since last season, including twice this year – one time before the Chiefs match in Week 4 and this week.
Stafford, 31, is fourth in the NFL with 2499 passing yards and is second with 19 touchdowns, behind Russell Wilson (22).
Asked about his injury Wednesday, Stafford said he was "fine". He was officially inscribed on the list of injuries and implicated in a limited way every day of the week.
Stafford's 136 consecutive games are the second-longest set of defeats behind Philip Rivers' 218. Brett Favre (297), Rivers, Eli Manning (210), Peyton Manning (208) and Matt Ryan (163) time list.
Michael Rothstein of ESPN contributed to this report.
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