In a surprising turn of events, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz gave an honest injury report before "game time decisions" must be made public.
Schwartz announced that Daunte Culpepper would start for the Lions this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. He had previously said Matthew Stafford was day-to-day and that the decision would be a game-time choice on whether or not to sit Stafford. Damn you, Bill Belichick. Injury reports have never been the same sense you started all this nonsense.
Anyways, Schwartz made the right call on this one. Culpepper should start Sunday, and every Sunday after until the record is 2-14. There is nothing left to be gained from having Stafford get slammed to the ground week after week while his shoulder is about as well connected as Mr. Potato Head's moustache.
Stafford has already made great strides and accomplished all he needs to in his rookie season. He has shown toughness, has led a two-minute drive comeback victory, has been embarrassed, has been spectacular, and he has been beaten to a pulp.
Looks like a full slate to me.
As pointed out in a recent article by Bleacher Report Columnist Greg Eno, there is no reason to keep Stafford out there this season.
Culpepper does not make the Lions a better team. Not by a long shot. But starting him will spare Stafford an unneeded beating over the final four games. Just as many NBA coaches implement the strategy of inserting lesser players into the game to rack up fouls, inserting a backup quarterback to absorb Ray Lewis hits is a beneficial move.