Practice was enough: Lions' Patricia explains why Stafford sits second preseason game

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Houston — The Detroit Lions are halfway through the preseason and quarterback Matthew Stafford hasn't played a snap. 

This is new ground for Stafford. For the second consecutive year, the Lions conducted two sets of joint practice, but he still played three series in the second preseason game. The latest change in schedule comes on the heels of Stafford being given two days off practice. 

And at this point, Lions coach Matt Patricia isn't committing to Stafford playing at all in the preseason. 

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford warms up Saturday's preseason game against the Houston Texans. Stafford did not play in the 30-23 loss.

"I’m not going to get into things too far in advance," Patricia said. "I think we’ll figure that out as we go through the week. We’ll try to go out this week and see where we’re at."

On the surface, the move seems curious. The Lions are in the midst of installing a new offensive scheme, and while the play calls that go into a preseason game are largely vanilla, it would stand to reason the starting quarterback could benefit from some game reps, if only to work on the calls. 

But Patricia said that need was negated by the practice field work Stafford got in against the Patriots and Texans the past two weeks. 

"As far as Stafford is concerned, for us, as we rolled down here and practiced and everything like that, I think we had a lot of snaps out on the practice field we thought were really good for us," Patricia said. "Offensively, I thought we had the work that we needed to get in, and sometimes, the practice stuff, the scheme, some of the stuff we’re doing is a little more elaborate than what we might do in the game.

"Just thought it was a good opportunity to get the other guys equally, hopefully, snaps and evaluate both of the players tonight."

Josh Johnson started Saturday's preseason game against the Texans and played into the early stages of the third quarter. He threw 18 passes, completing nine for 85 yards and an interception. David Fales took over and finished the contest, going 12-of-19 for 226 yards and a touchdown.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers