Notebook: Lions Remain Mum on Stafford

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz (AP Photo)

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz remains mum on Matthew Stafford's "day-to-day" injury status, but has determined who the team's new kick-returner will be. More news and notes inside.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn't giving much information regarding rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford's knee injury.

About all he said Monday was that Stafford had completed his medical testing and was day-to-day. He said the Lions would know more when they resumed practice Wednesday and left open the possibility Stafford could play Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, suffered a right knee injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 48-24 loss at Chicago. Multiple reports have said Stafford suffered a dislocated, or partially dislocated, kneecap and that it popped back into place. He suffered a similar injury to the same knee before his senior season in high school.

Although Stafford was not in the locker room while it was open to reporters Monday, he made his weekly sponsored appearance on Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom's radio show. He played coy and referred questions to Schwartz, but he indicated the injury wasn't serious and he might be able to play.

Stafford said he wasn't completely sure what happened, only that he "obviously felt a little bit of discomfort." Asked if the kneecap came out, he said: "I don't know. I don't think so." Asked if it was back in, he laughed.

"My kneecap is currently in the front of my knee," he said, "so we're good."

Asked if he could play or practice at that moment, Stafford said: "Not really into hypotheticals, but I think I could give it a go. I'm not 100 percent sure. I'm sure the trainers would have to take another look and clear me and all that."

Notebook:

  • Coach Jim Schwartz generally declines to reveal lineup information, but he announced at his Monday news conference that Derrick Williams is the Lions' kickoff returner and will "remain so until further notice." Williams replaces fellow rookie Aaron Brown, who has struggled the past three games.

    "It's time for him to deliver," Schwartz said. "Our inefficiency at kick returns is glaring, and it needs to be addressed. He's going to have to do the job for us."

    The Lions drafted Williams in the third round, thinking he could contribute most quickly as a returner. He struggled to catch the ball in training camp and muffed two punts in the exhibition season. But Williams averaged 21.8 yards on four kickoff returns in exhibitions.

    "With punt returning, you just have to get used to catching those and everything like that," Williams said. "Kick return is more of a natural catch."

  • Schwartz was not a happy man after Sunday's loss to the Bears, and he was even more upset Monday.

    "I'm here to say that after 24 hours, I'm probably more ticked off now than I was right after the game," Schwartz said. "We never gave ourselves a chance to win that game. Way too many errors in all phases of the game, but particularly special teams, and you can't win a game when you continually put the defense backed up the way that we did and you allow scores on special teams."

Player Notes:

  • QB Matthew Stafford is officially day-to-day after suffering a right knee injury Sunday. The Lions would not confirm reports he suffered a dislocated or partially dislocated kneecap.
  • WR Adam Jennings was placed on injured reserve after suffering a significant ankle injury. He did not return from Chicago with the team, as he needed more testing.
  • S Marvin White was claimed off waivers from Dallas.
  • WR Calvin Johnson is day-to-day after taking a helmet to a quad. He said he would be all right.
  • RB Kevin Smith is day-to-day after playing through a shoulder injury.
  • LB Ernie Sims did not set himself back, according to coach Jim Schwartz, even though he left Sunday's game after aggravating the shoulder injury that kept him out of the previous game.

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