The rookie passer was able to return late in game, but ended up throwing a game-sealing interception to Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
Stafford completed 17 of 26 passes for 249 yards.
Isaiah Crowell gained 90 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown for the Browns (0-9). Kizer's sneak failed, and the Browns found that they had a big problem when it did - namely, they were out of timeouts, and nobody seemed to know what to do as time ticked down.
Cleveland bounced back from that to score touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half to take a 24-17 lead.
Did the Browns have a second play not loaded up? The 21 passes and 232 yards were both the second best totals of Kizer's career, trailing only a game against the Indianapolis Colts when he was 22-for-47 with 242 yards passing. That gave Quandre Diggs a free shot at Kizer, who left with rib injuries.
Detroit's fourth quarter comeback was once again led by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
After Abdullah sprung a 19-yard burst on the first play of the drive, fellow rusher Theo Riddick ran for 10 yards, and then, caught a seven-yard throw from Stafford. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah is doubtful because of a back injury.
The Cleveland Browns gave it a good try on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but ultimately it was not enough as the Browns fell, 38-24. They were also without starting RG T.J. Lang (concussion), but LT Taylor Decker made his season debut.
What it means: If the Browns played this way all season, there would be unhappiness about the record but credit for an undermanned team competing to win.