I'll just go ahead and say it: The Lions are one of the most talented teams in football. The only thing that has been holding them back from contention is the health of their prized quarterback, Matthew Stafford.
The interesting thing about Stafford's health issues in the NFL is that he never had injury problems when he was at Georgia. Blame Detroit's bad luck, but Stafford's inability to stay on the field is a new phenomenon for him.
In his season debut this Sunday against the Buccaneers, Stafford showed just how potent this Detroit offense can be with Stafford pulling the trigger. Stafford was 24-for-33 passing for 305 yards and three touchdowns. If Stafford can continue to pour points onto opposing teams, that vicious defensive line can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. The Lions are a better team in every facet with Stafford in the lineup.
Here are five other players who are too vital to their respective teams to lose.