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Matthew Stafford Reportedly Played Through A Brutal Injury Last Year

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford walking off the field with his head down.

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 23: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions reacts to play in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on December 23, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota Vikings won 27 - 9. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Last season was one to forget for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Not only did his team miss the playoffs, but he battled injuries all season and his statistics took a dip.

According to a new report, the veteran field general's late-season back injury may have been much worse than let on. Stafford was listed with a back issue on the injury report, but did not miss any games as a result.

In a recent podcast episode, Lions team website writer Mike O'Hara let it slip that Stafford played through fractures in his back in 2018.

Via MLive.com:

“He had a broken back last year," Mike O’Hara, a longtime veteran of the Lions beat who currently writes for the team’s official website, said during a recent episode of his weekly podcast with WJR’s Ken Brown. "Broken bones in his back.”

Asked if he was allowed to disclose that information, O'Hara said it had been reported. However, it looks like the severity or specifics of the injury were never discussed.

Stafford enters the 2019 season with a streak of 128 consecutive starts, the sixth-longest in league history. He has made a habit of showing up and going to work, missing only 2.1 percent of the Lions' offensive snaps last year.

He's going to need to be healthier though if his team is to make a run at the playoffs this fall.