Lions' Stafford wins lighthearted QB competition at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. -- Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, on the mend from surgery on his throwing shoulder, looked free and easy while participating in a quarterback challenge at the University of Georgia's spring game Saturday.

Stafford joined former Georgia quarterbacks Eric Zeier, David Greene and D.J. Shockley in the lighthearted competition, which Stafford "won." Participants first tried to place balls in a trashcan from 35 yards away. Stafford threw a nice pass and hit the can but didn't put the ball in it.

Stafford then threw three of five balls through a tire from about 20 yards out. Finally, the former No. 1 overall draft pick threw 12-yard outs and then longer routes to fans (Stafford waved his fan out about 45 yards and placed a perfect pass in his hands; alas, it was dropped).

Lions officials have expressed confidence in Stafford's ability to return on schedule. He missed all but three games last season with a shoulder injury. He played in 10 games in 2009, his rookie season.

Stafford, the first overall selection in the 2009 draft, signed a then-record contract that included over $40 million guaranteed. He left Georgia after his junior year but has been around campus at times this spring, including for Georgia's pro day.

Stafford has increased his throwing over the last month, tweeting March 26 that his arm felt good after throwing a lot the previous day.

Once healthy, and if the lockout remains in effect, Stafford said he would go to where Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is or meet wherever they can to work out in preparation for the 2011 season.

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