Lions' Stafford pledges to be ready vs. Vikings

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a hard hit to his right elbow in Sunday’s loss to the San Diego Chargers, but told FOX 2 (WJBK-TV) Monday that he will be available for next Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) said he will be available Sunday against the Vikings in Minneapolis.

Mid-way through the third quarter, Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram leveled Stafford with a hit as he threw a pass, which fellow linebacker Kyle Emanuel turned into a diving interception. Stafford didn’t miss any plays in the game, but threw another interception on the Lions’ next possession and wore a sleeve on his right arm later in the quarter.

“It was a tough one,” Stafford said of the hit in his interview with FOX 2 sports director Dan Miller. “He got me good, kind of right on the triceps, elbow area, but I’ll be good to go.

“I started feeling better toward the end of the game, and I’ll be good to go. I’m not too worried about it.”

Reporters saw Stafford wearing a heavy wrap on his throwing arm in the locker room Monday, and Miller noted the bulge popping out of his shirt during the interview.

“You saw him get hit, obviously, and once he got hit, it was his way of keeping it warm,” coach Jim Caldwell said of Stafford’s protective sleeve after the game.

Stafford finished Sunday’s game 19 of 30 for 246 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and much of that production came in a desperation drive late in the fourth quarter.

“I started feeling a whole lot better,” Stafford said on TV.