Nothing was going to keep Matthew Stafford out of what could be final game as a Detroit Lion today. Not nagging rib or thumb injuries, and not the sprained ankle he suffered in last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Stafford is active for today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings after missing some practice time this week.
He rolled his ankle on the Lions’ opening drive against the Bucs, hopped to the locker room on one leg a few minutes later, and was held out of practice Wednesday.
But Stafford said during the week he hoped to play against the Vikings, and interim Lions coach Darrell Bevell indicated Stafford was on track to start.
“If the rest of me, if I’m good, I want to be out there,” Stafford said. “I want to play, do everything I can to try and get there towards the end of the week, and we’re going to kind of have to figure it out as we go, day to day, just see how it responds to treatment and all that. But hopefully I can get it good enough to go and be out there.”
Both the Lions and Stafford have decisions to make on their futures after the season.
Stafford, who turns 33 in February and has made just three playoff appearances in his 12 seasons in Detroit, may not want to stick around for another rebuild, and the Lions, with a new coach and general manager coming to town and likely a third straight top-10 draft pick, could look to draft their quarterback of the future.
Stafford has said he will address his future after the season, while Bevell said he does not know where things will go for his quarterback.
“As far as the future goes, I don’t know,” Bevell said. “I mean, all of our futures are kind of up in the air right now. So really, I’ll just be able to stay on this week on Minnesota, and that’s going to be my whole focus.”
Center Frank Ragnow (throat) and defensive tackle Danny Shelton (knee) also are active Sunday for the first time in weeks. Ragnow fractured cartilage in his throat in a Dec. 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, and Shelton hurt his knee in a Thanksgiving loss to the Houston Texans.
Linebacker Jamie Collins is out for the second straight game with a neck injury, and receiver Kenny Gollady (hip), right tackle Tyrell Crosby (ankle), safety Bobby Price, defensive tackle Albert Huggins and offensive linemen Logan Stenberg and Joe Dahl (back) also are inactive for the Lions (5-10).
The Vikings (6-9) are without starters Dalvin Cook, Cam Dantzler, Eric Kendricks, Jalyn Holmes and Ifeadi Odenigbo.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford is active for season finale