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Lions QB Hill sits out practice with splint on finger

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions may have more problems at quarterback.

Shaun Hill appeared to have a splint on the index finger of his throwing hand at practice Tuesday. He stood off to the side while Drew Stanton and Zac Robinson took snaps.

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Coach Jim Schwartz, who is always secretive about injuries, was even more so when asked about his quarterback situation afterward. He said he wouldn't comment because he didn't want to tip his hand to Chicago, the Lions' next opponent.

"With the Bears not practicing today ... no sense giving them the jump on anything," Schwartz said.

The Lions (2-9) already lost quarterback Matthew Stafford to an injured shoulder, and Hill has been starting in his place. Stafford was at practice but wasn't participating in the portion open to the media.

Hill played the entire game against New England last Thursday, throwing for 285 yards in a 45-24 loss. None of the quarterbacks were in the locker room Tuesday when it was open to reporters.

Stanton has played in three games this season, completing 20 of 36 passes for 233 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He came on in relief of Hill against the New York Giants on Oct. 17 and replaced an injured Stafford late in an overtime loss to the Jets on Nov. 7.

Stafford hasn't played since hurting his throwing shoulder for the second time this season in that game. He was also injured in the opener at Chicago, forcing Hill to start the next five games. Hill broke his non-throwing arm against the Giants, but Stafford was healthy enough to come back and lead his team to a win over Washington in the next game.

But that's been the only full game this season for the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft. Stafford hurt himself again while playing the Jets the following weekend, and the Lions went on to lose in overtime.

Detroit picked up Robinson after Stafford's second injury.

Stafford did say he was hoping to take a step forward this week.

"Hopefully I might try and do a little bit of light throwing this week and see how it feels," Stafford said Monday during a weekly appearance on WJR radio.

Schwartz indicated that might happen in the near future.

"He's probably pretty close to that" Schwartz said. "He's doing really well in his rehab."

Schwartz cautioned that the team has to evaluate Stafford each day instead of putting him on a set schedule.

"Just because he throws on one day, doesn't mean we plan on him throwing the next day," Schwartz said.

Schwartz also didn't provide an update on kicker Jason Hanson, who has been out since hurting the knee on his kicking leg against the Jets.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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