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Lions' Stafford had no setback, says fractured finger better

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford set a franchise record with 63 pass attempts at Chicago, all of them with a fractured right index finger in a game that ended with a loss and four interceptions.

It was revealed after the game that Stafford has been playing with a fractured right index finger since the first half of Detroit's win Oct. 30 against Denver. Stafford returned to practice with the rest of the Lions Wednesday as they began to prepare for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, telling reporters afterward that X-rays show his finger is healing well.

"It's getting better," Stafford said, per "I didn't have any setbacks in the game as far as hitting it on something. ... It's getting better every day. I'm excited it's feeling better."

Stafford wore gloves against the Bears and during Wednesday's practice to help him get a better grip on the ball. He plans to use the gloves for the next two games, covering a small splint that is taped to the top half of his right index finger.

"It's the first time I've really hurt my throwing hand," Stafford said. "The last couple of weeks, I felt like I've figured how to get around it and throw just fine with it. I feel 100 percent, good enough to make every throw I've ever made."

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson also took part in practice Wednesday. His appearance was a positive sign after he said he passed a concussion test after taking a big hit from Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. Johnson said he will play against the Panthers.

Running back Jahvid Best (concussion), punter Ryan Donahue (right quadriceps), safety Amari Spievey (toe) and defensive ends Lawrence Jackson (thigh), Kyle Vanden Bosch (not injury related) and Willie Young (ankle) were also held out Wednesday. 

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