Matthew Stafford: Something Needed to Be Done About Helmet-to-Helmet Hits
"You never like to see that," Stafford told FanHouse during an interview to promote AXE Hair products. "It's not fun to see guys in compromising positions like that. Zack obviously got pretty banged up on that play."
As a result of several injury-inducing hits last Sunday and Monday, the NFL has stated that it is going to start suspending players for dangerous and flagrant plays, starting as early as this weekend. Follett was among a long list players who suffered concussions in Week 6.
Stafford had a chance to visit with Follett on Tuesday morning and was thankful that the linebacker's tests came back with encouraging results.
As for the stricter enforcement in regards to the helmet-to-helmet rules, Stafford told FanHouse he believes that something needed to be done.
"It's going to be a tight rope for the NFL to walk," he said. "But at the same time, there are so many guys getting (hurt in) head-to-head collisions out there. It shouldn't be part of the game, having to cart someone off the field in each game for a head injury. It's still going to be an extremely physical game. Hopefully, though, the rules will clean up the game a little."
Stafford, who hasn't played since hurting his throwing shoulder in Week 1, has been rehabbing and hopes to be back on the field in Week 8 against Washington -- the Lions have a bye in Week 7.
"The recovery's going well," Stafford said. "This being a bye week, I'll practice with the offense and, hopefully, take every rep going into next week. If the shoulder reacts really well, hopefully I'll be out there."
The Lions are currently 14th in the league in yards per game and seventh in points scored, most of that production coming with backup QB Shaun Hill taking the snaps. Stafford credits the Lions' success on offense to this being the team's second year in head coach Jim Schwartz's system, as well as the team having the luxury of being able to use multiple options on the offensive side of the ball.
"We've had guys go out there and make plays," he said. "Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Pettigrew ... Our tight ends combined have almost 60 catches. They're playing great this year. Jahvid [Best]'s doing a great job for us. We just have a lot of weapons out there. It's getting tougher and tougher to defend us."
The Detroit Lions are currently 1-5 on the season, but without a few tough breaks and an inability to close out games at times, they could easily have three or four wins.
"We look back and see a lot of missed opportunities," Stafford said. "In this league, winning is all that matters. It doesn't matter how it looks or anything like that, as long as you get a win. We haven't been able to do that this year and hopefully when we get some guys back healthy we'll go on a little bit of a run here in the second half."
The Lions have 10 games left on the 2010 schedule, and Stafford believes that the NFC is open enough that the Lions can make a push for a playoff spot.
"You never know what's going to happen," he said. "It's a crazy league and one or two teams are going to get on a run. Hopefully we'll be one of those two teams. We'll see what happens."