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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.

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The Detroit Lions drafted Laken Tomlinson in the first round in 2015 hoping he’d be the solution to a struggling offensive line. Two years later, the franchise has decided to move on from him.

The Lions traded the guard to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday. In exchange, the Lions received a fifth-round pick in 2019, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Tomlinson must first pass a physical for the trade to become final.
After the trade was announced, Tomlinson tweeted:
Tomlinson started 24 of 32 games for the Lions in his two seasons in Detroit after being considered one of the best guards in his class. But he never quite fit with what the Lions were trying to do. He eventually lost his starting job to rookie Graham Glasgow midway through last season and only regained it after Glasgow moved to center to replace the injured Travis Swanson.

Laken Tomlinson started 24 games for the Lions in his first two NFL seasons.

Laken Tomlinson started 24 games for the Lions in his first two NFL seasons.

In dealing for Tomlinson, the Niners added some help to the interior of the offensive line, an area that has emerged as a concern for them in the preseason. With projected starting left guard Joshua Garnett still recovering from a knee injury and his return date uncertain, the Niners have been using Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco as the starting guards.

While the starting offensive line has done well in pass protection, top running back Carlos Hyde has struggled to find traction. In the three preseason games, he’s averaged 2.6 yards on 17 carries in coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside zone rushing scheme.
Upon arrival, Tomlinson figures to push for a starting job at guard, likely on the left side where Beadles has been starting in Garnett’s absence.

Tomlinson has some ties to the Niners’ front office in the form of senior personnel executive Martin Mayhew, who was Detroit’s general manager when the Lions used a first-round pick on Tomlinson in 2015.

Tomlinson only received first-team work during training camp this year when right guard T.J. Lang — who Detroit signed in the offseason from Green Bay — sat out of practice for rest as he recovers from offseason hip surgery.

The signing of Lang along with the emergence of Joe Dahl as a utility lineman made Tomlinson’s future with the Lions cloudy at best and, despite his guaranteed salary, he was not a roster lock for this season. The 25-year-old has two years left on his contract; his base salary of $1,212,296 is guaranteed for this season. Next year’s $1,600,944 base salary isn’t guaranteed.

This is the second straight preseason where the Lions and 49ers have made a trade. Last year, Detroit sent receiver Jeremy Kerley to San Francisco in exchange for guard Brandon Thomas. Kerley finished the season as the 49ers’ most productive wideout.

NFL Network first reported news of Thursday’s trade.