Lions QB Matthew Stafford: Wife ‘right where the doctors want her to be’ after brain surgery
In his first public comments since his wife underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford acknowledged football has been a welcome respite to the trying offseason he and has family have endured.
"Yeah, no doubt," Stafford said Wednesday on The Mitch Albom Show on WJR-AM (760). "It’s great to be back, working with the guys, obviously, meeting a bunch of new teammates. We’ve got a bunch of really good players through free agency and then some young guys that we just picked up in the draft that are trying to make a name for themselves. So every year’s a different year and a new team and a bunch of new guys to get to know and try and be as good as we possibly can and that’s part of what makes this game so fun."
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) with his wife Kelly Stafford and daughters before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 28, 2018. (Photo: Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
Kelly Stafford announced on Instagram last month that she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor shortly after the 2018 season ended.
She underwent surgery in mid-April and has posted regular updates on social media since the operation.
"She’s doing good," Matthew Stafford said. "I think she’s kind of right where the doctors want her to be at this point in her recovery, but we appreciate everybody’s well wishes, thoughts, prayers, all that. People have been really supportive and I know she and I both really appreciate it."
After Kelly's diagnosis, the Staffords traveled the country meeting with doctors to review their options for treatment and care.
Eventually, they chose Dr. B. Gregory Thompson from the University of Michigan to perform surgery. Kelly credited Thompson's patience and care for saving her hearing and facial function.
In his radio interview Wednesday, Stafford said he and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they've received from fans.
"I’m a little bit more used to people from all over kind of either being involved or knowing what’s going on in our life, but I think for her it was awesome and I know she leaned on it a lot, so it was great," Stafford said.
University of Michigan's Dr. B. Gregory Thompson poses for a photo with Kelly Stafford and her husband, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford at the Taubman Health Center in Ann Arbor recently. (Photo: Kelly Stafford, Instagram)
While Kelly still is recovering at the couple's home in suburban Detroit, Matthew has been an active participant in most of the Lions' offseason program.
The Lions wrap up Phase 2 of the offseason on Thursday, and begin organized team activities next week.
The Lions are installing a new offense under coordinator Darrell Bevell, which Stafford said has been "kind of a little like learning a new language."
Entering his 11th NFL season, Stafford has played for three previous coordinators, Scott Linehan, Joe Lombardi and Jim Bob Cooter, but never before in a West Coast system like the one Bevell employs.
"It takes a while (to get used to it)," Stafford said. "It takes reps. It’s not so much time.
"I think obviously you get a ton of work in practice, especially the way we practice here, it’s high intensity all the time. It’s game-like situations as much as we can possible do it and that really helps us. But every offense is different, every player learns it differently and it just takes reps and time together to go out there and do it."
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