Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will miss Sunday's game at Chicago, ending a string of 136 consecutive regular-season starts, the team confirmed.
ESPN reported Sunday morning that Stafford has broken bones in his back and team doctors won't let him take the field.
Jeff Driskel is likely to start in Stafford's place, with David Blough backing him up. It will be the sixth career start for Driskel, who joined the Lions in September after he was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Stafford's wife, Kelly, posted a tribute to her husband on Instagram on Sunday morning.
"I don't think there is anything this man hates more than to not be out there battling with his guys," Kelly Stafford wrote, in part. "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 was limited all week in practice and is officially listed as questionable, but he said Thursday that he's "fine" and would be "good to go" against the Bears.
Stafford, 31, has been on the injury report since Week 4 with a hip issue, but he had only been limited in one practice -- back on Sept. 27 -- until this week, when the back injury also popped up.
Stafford's starting streak was the second-longest active streak -- Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has started 218 straight -- and the sixth-longest of all-time by a quarterback, dating back to Jan. 2, 2011.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2009, Stafford is on pace for a career year in his 11th season with the Lions. He has thrown for 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games. He leads the league with 312.4 passing yards per game and is comfortably on pace for career highs in yards per attempt (8.6) and passer rating (106.0).
--Field Level Media