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ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a hamstring injury and a sprained ankle in Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Carolina, a source told ESPN Insider Dan Graziano, and Stafford’s week of practice will determine whether he plays Sunday against New Orleans.

During an appearance on the Mitch Albom Show on WJR Radio in Detroit earlier Monday, Stafford was cagey about his status for Sunday. He declined to provide an update on the status of his ankle and leg, deferring questions to Lions coach Jim Caldwell. When asked directly if he was going to be playing Sunday, Stafford said, “I don’t know yet. We’ll see.”

Caldwell told reporters to “check the report” when asked about Stafford’s injuries. The first injury report of the week comes out Wednesday. Caldwell said Stafford was “sore,” but that a lot of players were sore after Sunday’s game.
Stafford said he and the Lions are protecting the information because they believe it offers a “competitive advantage or disadvantage,” as well as being for the safety of players.

“Why would you want another team to know exactly what’s going on with you if you don’t have to mention it?” Stafford said. “Obviously the reports come out and all that kind of stuff, and that’s about as much information as we’re as a team going to get out.

“There’s no real win in telling everybody in America what’s going on with ya, right? ‘What’s the positive’ is how I look at it.”
Asked when a decision will be made about whether or not he’ll play against the Saints, Stafford said, “I’m not sure, honestly.”
If Stafford were unable to play, Jake Rudock — who has never taken a snap in the NFL — would be the likely starter. Detroit has only two quarterbacks on the roster. The third quarterback from training camp, Brad Kaaya, is now a member of the Panthers. Last season’s backup, Dan Orlovsky, is a free agent.

Stafford joked on the radio show that he also tells his parents to “check the report” when they ask about his injuries. He said he suffered the injury on specific plays, and that it wasn’t a cumulative injury that occurred against the Panthers.
Stafford wouldn’t say much about the injury after the game Sunday, but gingerly walked out of the locker room. Trainers examined his right leg and right ankle during the game, and he was clearly hobbling while leading the Lions on two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter.

Stafford has been sacked 12 times in the past two weeks, including six times Sunday. He has completed 64.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,116 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception.

Stafford has started every game for Detroit at quarterback since the start of the 2011 season. He missed six games his rookie year and 13 games his second year due to injury.

The Lions signed Stafford to a five-year, $135 million extension in the offseason, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL per year.

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence tweeted Thursday afternoon that his father was denied a contracting job because of Spence’s protest during the

national anthem on Sunday.
Spence was one of eight Lions players who kneeled during the national anthem prior to Detroit’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He told ESPN after the game that the decision to kneel was a group effort among those players and that it was to “stand up for what’s right, man.”
He also said the protest had nothing to do with the military or the flag.

“No disrespect to the flag, no disrespect to any of the veterans or anything. It was just right is right, wrong is wrong, and what the guy said about us as NFL players, I just feel like that’s something that’s us, as NFL players, we have to stand up for that’s not what we are,” Spence said. “You know what I’m saying. We’re human beings. We give back to the community.

“We do great things, and our owners, you know what I’m saying, they do great things. So that’s something we don’t represent around the NFL. That’s something every team should have come out and showed this Sunday, that it’s not what that guy said about us.”

Spence — and many NFL players — protested during the anthem following critical statements made by President Donald Trump, who said players who protest during the anthem should be “fired” by their teams’ owners.

“It’s crazy and it’s wrong, you know. It shouldn’t be like that,” Spence said. “We’re hard-working people who give back to the community. Our owners are the same way, you know, and they have the utmost respect for us and we have the utmost respect for our country, our flag and everything like that. So for our head guy to say something like that about our owners and what they should do, that’s something that I can’t, man, right is right.

“I felt like he was wrong in that sense, and we just came out and acted unity, together and just tried to make a statement.”

Spence was not immediately available for comment Thursday because he tweeted about his father after the Lions’ open locker room period for the day.