This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
Stafford was a gameday scratch on Sunday, and now the NFL is investigating the Lions for a potential violation of the rules regarding the injury report. While the league sorts out that situation, we are left to speculate about the specifics regarding the injury.
Stafford's injury has been reported as broken back. While the injury sounds scary and shouldn't be taken lightly, vertebral fractures aren't unheard of for the quarterback position, with the location of the fracture dictating recovery. For example, quarterbacks Derek Carr, Cam Newton and Tony Romo each missed time with a very specific vertebral fractures known as a transverse process fracture. The transverse processes stick out off the sides of the vertebrae and aid in movement, serve as an attachment site for ligaments and muscles, and protect the area from trauma. Fractures here often heal nicely and involve minimal time off. All three noted examples returned to action after missing just one game. If Stafford's injury is in this area, it seems reasonable to believe he will be back in action relatively soon.
Still, it is worth noting that Stafford did endure a similar injury last season. Stafford was limited for the final month of the 2018 season with a back injury that was later revealed to involve multiple broken bones in his back. Again, the area of the fracture has never been confirmed but transverse process fractures have been speculated.
As a result, fantasy owners invested in Stafford should seek a suitable replacement