Lions backup QB David Blough gets first taste of game day duties
Allen Park — The Lions haven't had to call on their backup quarterback much in recent years. After all, Matthew Stafford hasn't missed a start since 2010 and he's only been off the field for 78 snaps the past five years.
Still, the harsh reality of football is you're only one play away from being knocked out of a game with an injury. Even Stafford knows this, experiencing multiple shoulder injuries early in his career.
For that reason, the backup position is still relevant. The Lions started the season with Josh Johnson, an experienced veteran on his 13th NFL roster. But during Sunday's win over the Philadelphia Eagles, it was David Blough serving in the role for the first time in his career.
An undrafted rookie out of Purdue, he was acquired by the Lions in a trade from the Cleveland Browns less than a month ago.
"It has been a wild offseason for me," Blough said. "If you told me this is where I'd be back in March or April, I probably thought you were joking or messing with me."
Blough had been the Lions' third quarterback the first two weeks and was a healthy scratch both times. Sunday was obviously an entirely different situation for him.
"There's a sense of responsibility," Blough said. "You want to be there to help Stafford with whatever he needs. You've also got to stay loose, too. God forbid anything happens, you've got to be ready to go, prepared and know what to do to help the team win."
It's almost amusing to think about Blough helping Stafford. What could an undrafted rookie possibly know that an 11-year veteran does not? Fair enough, Blough admits, but he's ready to do anything he can to contribute.
"He prepares as hard as anybody I've ever seen," Blough said. "He doesn't need much help from me, to tell you the truth. ...I'm still learning out there. Every experience I'm having is kind of new. I kind of forget that sometimes because I am in a role where I need to be able to help him. I'm just trying to confirm what he sees. And if he has any questions, at all, I'm going to double-check, triple-check, to make sure I'm getting it right."
It's unclear whether Blough will be Detroit's answer at the backup spot going forward. The team signed Jeff Driskel last week, who unlike Blough, has some NFL game experience having started five games for the Bengals last season.
Still, even if it's a short stint, it's been a pretty cool, if not entirely unexpected, experience for Blough.
"As a player, as a guy, this is my dream," he said. "All the guys in this locker room, this is the goal, and you have to be prepared and ready for whatever circumstances are thrown at you. I try to give everything I got and give the coaches confidence if my number ever needs to be called, I'll be ready."