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Matthew Stafford Throws Passes During Practice; Calvin Johnson To Be Game-Time Decision

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For the first time since injuring his right shoulder against Chicago, Matthew Stafford threw passes during the open portion of practice. He didn't go all out or anything, as Dave Birkett described Stafford as throwing "lightly," but it's a definite sign of progress.

Another sign of progress is that Stafford is likely going to dress as the No. 3 quarterback on Sunday. Although the Lions are still not ruling him out and he is actually technically questionable for the Giants game, the expectation is for Shaun Hill to start. It wouldn't make much sense if Stafford was the starter, but even so, it's looking like he will be back in the starting lineup after the bye when Detroit plays Washington.

Just as Stafford showed some progress with his shoulder injury on Friday, Calvin Johnson also had some encouraging signs that he will play on Sunday.

Johnson played catch from seven yards away with Stafford during warm-ups and caught several light passes in position drills. He used both arms today after using mostly his left arm Thursday and not catching passes at all during the open portion of practice Wednesday.

Johnson will be a game-time decision, but if I had to guess, I'd bet on him playing. The Lions will need all of their fire power going up against a tough Giants defense, and even if he isn't able to do everything like usual, Johnson's presence on the field alone should open things up a bit for other receivers.