Lions' Matthew Stafford exits with ankle injury

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Detroit — Matthew Stafford entered Saturday's game dealing with thumb and rib issues, but it was a new injury, a rolled ankle, that forced him out of the game after the Detroit Lions' first offensive series. 

On a second-down play near midfield, Stafford fired an incomplete pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson, while facing pressure from Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White.

Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford sits on the bench after getting his ankle taped for an injury in the first quarter. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Detroit Lions, 47-7, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, at Ford Field in Detroit.

While tangled with White after the throw, Stafford stepped awkwardly, rolling his right ankle. He stayed in the game one more play, completing a throw to Danny Amendola that ended up short of the first down. As the Lions lined up to punt, Stafford headed to the bench where he got his ankle taped up by training staff. 

But after testing it on the sideline, the quarterback headed back to the locker room for further evaluation and it was announced moments later he was questionable to return.

Already down 14-0, Chase Daniel entered the game in Stafford's place on Detroit's second offensive series. After leading the team back to midfield, he was sacked on third down after the ball was unexpectedly snapped by backup center Joe Dahl.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers