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Matthew Stafford placed on COVID-19 reserve list, could miss Lions’ game against Vikings

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gives a hand to teammates during pregame of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford could miss the Lions’ game on Sunday against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium after being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Wednesday. Stafford, who also was on the list in August for a few days because of a false positive test, is considered to be “high-risk, close contact” after being around a non-team member who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Because Stafford’s last contact with the individual was on Monday, he would be eligible to return from the reserve list on Sunday to face the Vikings, but would need five consecutive days of negative tests. Stafford still will be in the five-day isolation window when the Lions depart for Minnesota on Saturday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, so the team would have to fly Stafford to Minnesota on a private plane, if he is cleared to play against the Vikings.

If Stafford is unable to go, the Lions would start backup Chase Daniel, an 11-year veteran. Daniel, who was with the Bears last season, replaced an injured Mitch Trubisky on Sept. 29 against the Vikings at Soldier Field and completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown in a 16-6 victory. Daniel has only made five NFL starts in 10-plus seasons. David Blough is the Lions’ third quarterback.

The Lions (3-4) are a game ahead of the Vikings (2-5) in the NFC North. The 32-year-old Stafford, who missed the final nine games of last season because of an injury, has thrown for 1,916 yards this season with a 61.4 completion percentage, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in seven games.

The Vikings, meanwhile, were without cornerbacks Cameron Dantzler (concussion), Mark Fields II (chest) and Holton Hill (foot) at practice on Wednesday. Another cornerback, Harrison Hand (hamstring), was limited.