Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said his recent days off from throwing are no cause for alarm or a sign of a lingering injury after he reportedly played through broken bones in his back last year.
Instead, he said the six-day break he had between passing sessions were just planned time off for a 31-year-old arm.
"I'm not 21 anymore, so it's probably pretty good to, if you can find a place in the schedule where you think you can get some rest and just kind of feel fresh again, might as well," Stafford told the Detroit Free Press.
This was his longest time away from practice since he injured his throwing shoulder in 2010.
"It's not easy for me but it's probably good for me in the long run," Stafford said. "So something that Coach (Matt) Patricia and I had talked about and probably the right thing to do. But it was good, gave me a little bit of perspective, let me coach the guys a little bit more on the sideline. But yeah, it's not easy as a competitor to sit out, but it's probably the smart thing to do."
Stafford took part in the Lions' joint practices with the Houston Texans this week. He didn't play in the preseason opener last week, a 31-3 loss to the New England Patriots, but is expected to play as much as a quarter on Saturday against the Texans.
Struggling with the injury in 2018, Stafford threw for 3,777 yards, his lowest total since 2011, to go with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 16 games.
He is entering his 11th NFL season. The Lions drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009.
The Lions begin the regular season on Sept. 8 at the Arizona Cardinals.
--Field Level Media