Lions to start Shaun Hill vs. Bills
Stafford hurt his right shoulder last weekend against the New York Jets and will miss at least Sunday's game at Buffalo. Hill, who broke his left arm against the New York Giants on Oct. 17, worked with the first team Wednesday during the portion of practice open to reporters.
He started five games earlier in the season after Stafford separated the same shoulder in the opener.
"Barring any setback this week, Shaun Hill will start at quarterback," coach Jim Schwartz said. "He was in position last week that we dressed him as our third quarterback, where he could hand off, he could do all those different things. He wasn't really in position to take a hit, but can play with a cast, and another week will be good."
Drew Stanton came in for Stafford last week and the Lions gave away a late lead in a 23-20 overtime loss. Stanton is still available as a backup, and the Lions claimed rookie quarterback Zac Robinson off waivers from Seattle.
Stafford spoke briefly with reporters but didn't provide much information on his condition. He didn't rule out playing again this season.
"I think there's definitely a possibility, and then other times you don't know, so we'll see," he said.
Schwartz wasn't any more forthcoming about Stafford's prognosis, saying only that the top pick in the 2009 draft wouldn't be ready for the Bills.
"I'm not going to play Marco Polo on commenting and responding to every rumor or every other thing. We keep our evaluations and our things like that in house," Schwartz said. "I think it's irresponsible to say that he's considered for injured reserve, that he's going to have surgery, that his season's over. There was no basis for that."
Stafford returned two weeks ago and led the Lions to a victory over Washington. They appeared on their way to another victory before he left late against the Jets.
Stafford also missed six games as a rookie with a banged-up left shoulder and a sore right knee.
"I don't think anybody's really injury prone, I guess," Stafford said. "I think some people just kind of get some tough luck at some points. I've just got to keep battling through it, try to get healthy and get back out there."
Hill has completed 61 percent of his passes this season and led Detroit to a 44-6 win over St. Louis last month, but he hurt his non-throwing arm the following weekend against the Giants. As it turned out, Stafford was ready to come back after that game -- and now the roles are reversed with Hill returning to the lineup immediately after Stafford's injury.
"I started doing as much as I could as soon as I could," Hill said. "Everything's all good now."
"I hurt the MCL. The way I understand it, it's not severe, but it's a problem, because it was, I don't know, stretched or damaged or whatever," Hanson said. "I don't know what the recovery is. It'll be sooner than later, hopefully, but again the unknown is just what's going to happen. It's right in the kicking motion."
Lions OL Stephen Peterman said he's been fined $5,000 apiece by the league for two chop blocks last weekend. He hopes an appeal will be successful. ... Detroit has lost 24 straight road games, tying its own NFL record set in 2003. The Lions will try to snap that streak against the Bills, the NFL's only remaining winless team.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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