Notebook: Hill Prepares, Stafford Responds

Shaun Hill, three weeks removed from surgery to repair a broken bone in his left forearm, will start at quarterback Sunday against the Bills. He has been fully cleared.

Shaun Hill, three weeks removed from surgery to repair a broken bone in his left forearm, will start at quarterback Sunday against the Bills. He has been fully cleared.

"Everything feels fine," Hill said. "There are no limitations. I'm full go."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 separation of the AC joint in his right shoulder. He had recovered from a Grade 2 separation in the same shoulder suffered in Week 1.

The Lions will not confirm the diagnosis, though on Wednesday coach Jim Schwartz did not deny it. Schwartz was adamant that surgery was not an option at this time and he was holding the door open for Stafford to return at some point this season.

"That's yet to be seen," Stafford said. "It's definitely a possibility."

Schwartz said the plan with Stafford is to go week by week, same as after he was injured in Week 1. It took him six weeks to come back the first time.

"We didn't put him on the injured list," Schwartz said. "Anytime you don't put a guy on IR, you think there's a chance that he's coming back this year. I mean, that's a good sign."

The Lions needed to clear two roster spots Tuesday. One was for kicker Dave Rayner, who will fill in for at least one week for injured Jason Hanson (knee). The other spot was for quarterback Zac Robinson, whom Detroit claimed from Seattle. The Lions didn't put Stafford on IR to clear room.

"You can read what you want out of that," Schwartz said.

Still, Schwartz was peeved at some of the media reports Tuesday and Wednesday that suggested that Stafford's season was over.

"I think it's irresponsible to say that he's considered for injured reserve, that he's going to have surgery and that his season is over," Schwartz said. "There is no basis for that. Everything I said in the Monday press conference, nothing's changed."

Once again, though, the Lions turn their offense over to Hill. He has started five games this season and completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,309 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. The team has averaged 26 points a game under his direction.

"Nothing is going to be different," Hill said of his return. "I started doing as much as I could as soon as I could, so by the end of last week I was already getting back in (a rhythm) and knocking the rust off. Everything is all good now."

He will wear a light cast from his elbow to his wrist to protect the left arm. However, he said he has no problem taking snaps from under center or the shotgun, nor does he have any issue will handoffs or ball fakes.

"Last week, the splint I wore went all the way into the palm of my hand," Hill said. "I didn't have any wrist mobility until Sunday (when he was the emergency quarterback). Since I've gotten use of my wrist back, a lot of things have changed."

SERIES HISTORY: 9th regular-season meeting. Lions lead series, 4-3-1. They've only won once in Buffalo, a 17-14 overtime win in 1994. The only memorable game in this rather underwhelming series came in 1976, when O.J. Simpson rushed for an NFL-record 273 yards. The Lions beat the Bills in the last meeting in 2006, 20-17.

Notebook:

  • Matthew Stafford went into full Rasheed Wallace mode during his NFL-mandated press conference Wednesday. While Stafford didn't limit his remarks to "both teams played hard," as Wallace so famously did years ago, it was close.

    Here's a snippet:

    On if this injury is worse than the last one: "I don't know, it's hard to tell."

    On if this one was more painful: "I don't know."

    On if surgery might be required at some point: "I don't know. I have to talk to the docs first and see if they think that is an option or not."

    Why risk playing again this season? "If I am healthy, I want to play."

    Are you going to consult with Dr. James Andrews? "Possibly. Maybe."

    How did Shaun Hill look? "He looked like Shaun."

  • Quarterback Drew Stanton can probably read the writing on the wall. A second-round pick in 2007, he is in the final year of his contract with Detroit. When the Lions went searching for an extra quarterback, they claimed rookie Zac Robinson off waivers from Seattle. With Stafford and Hill signed for the next few years, the fact that the Lions brought in a young prospect would seem to indicate Stanton's days in Detroit are numbered. If Stafford comes back this season, it is possible the Lions would release Stanton.
  • Coach Jim Schwartz still has them buzzing back in New York. Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who called the Lions the dirtiest team he's ever played against, ripped into Schwartz again Wednesday. Schwartz had responded to Scott's rant by saying, "Consider the source."

    Scott told the New York Daily News, "(Schwartz) will be watching TV in January." Adding, "Listen, I don't have to play Detroit for another four years. I couldn't care less what that man has to say. (He) don't even exist to me anymore. Does it really matter? I don't have to see him ever again. Do I have to see him at the Super Bowl? Playoffs? Probably not. In the parking lot?"

    BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Touchdown receptions in the past five games by WR Calvin Johnson. He has 25 touchdown catches since 2008, third in the NFL.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a good sign that we're having tough losses, though I know maybe that comes off wrong. That it was a tough loss meant it was a big game and it meant we were in t

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