Skip to main content

With QB Stafford down, Lions call on Hill again

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Shaun Hill is back as Detroit's starting quarterback, and the Lions are moving on yet again without injured Matthew Stafford.

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 Oct. 17 against the New York Giants, worked with the first team Wednesday during the portion of practice open to reporters.

Hill 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 last month over St. Louis, 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."

Stafford's injury isn't the only big one for the Lions. Kicker Jason Hanson hurt his right knee against the Jets, and Detroit signed Dave Rayner to come in and kick.

"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."

Notes: 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 the NFL record it set in 2001-03. The Lions will try to snap that streak against the Bills, the NFL's only remaining winless team.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.