Lions QB Stafford practices despite ankle injury

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was able to practice Wednesday on his injured right ankle, although backup Shaun Hill also took some snaps with the first team.

"It feels OK. It's sore obviously, but it's made progress since Sunday," Stafford said. "If I'm healthy enough to play, I'm going to try to be out there. It's yet to be seen if I can get to that point, but if I can, then I want to play."

Stafford injured the ankle near the end of Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday he was day to day as the team began preparing for this weekend's game at Denver.

Schwartz didn't say anything definitive on Stafford's status Wednesday.

"Getting better every day and hopefully we can keep him on that track," Schwartz said. "If he's able to go on Sunday then he will. He's our starting quarterback, but we have to be prepared in any case."

Stafford was on the field with his helmet on and his footwork looked fine as he participated in throwing drills Wednesday, although he wasn't required to move around much during the portion of practice open to reporters. He was able to jog in short stretches.

Hill threw for 2,686 yards in 11 games in his first season in Detroit last season while filling in for Stafford. The Lions went 6-10 but won their last four games with Hill and Drew Stanton playing quarterback.

"I approach every week the same, no matter what," Hill said. "Just being in the system a little bit longer -- I think that helps everybody."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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