Stafford's start streak to end at 136 games due to back injury
Matthew Stafford will miss an NFL game for the first time since 2010, with a back injury ruling him out of the Detroit Lions' clash with the Chicago Bears.
Lions quarterback Stafford had started the previous 136 games, which was longest active streak among players at his position.
Multiple reports said Stafford will not play against the Bears at Chicago's Soldier Field due to broken bones in his back, with Jeff Driskel set to start in his place.
Stafford's wife, Kelly, confirmed his absence on her Instagram story.
She wrote: "[Heartbroken emoji] for this as well. I don't think there is anything this man hates more than to not be out there battling with his guys.
"These men work so hard all year long... it's tough to sideline them. So I'm grateful for our team docs. He has battled through so much, so much more than anyone knows.
"I'm incredibly proud to be his wife, he's the toughest SOB... but I'm happy his body will get a little healing time."
Stafford has been enjoying an excellent season, throwing for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
His performances have not translated into consistent results for the Lions, however. Detroit head into the game with Chicago 3-4-1, with their hopes of reaching the playoffs in a hugely competitive NFC looking slim.