Lions' Matthew Stafford practicing

Updated: October 26, 2011, 3:39 PM ET
Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was able to practice Wednesday on his injured right ankle, although backup Shaun Hill took some snaps with the first team.

"It feels OK. It's sore obviously, but it's made progress since Sunday," Stafford said. "If I'm healthy enough to play, I'm going to try to be out there. It's yet to be seen if I can get to that point, but if I can, then I want to play."

Stafford was hurt toward the end of last weekend's 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday he was day to day as the team began preparing for Sunday's game at Denver.

Schwartz didn't say anything definitive on Stafford's status Wednesday.

"Getting better every day and hopefully we can keep him on that track," Schwartz said. "If he's able to go on Sunday then he will. He's our starting quarterback, but we have to be prepared in any case."

Stafford was on the field with his helmet on and his footwork looked fine as he participated in throwing drills Wednesday, although he wasn't required to move around much during the portion of practice open to reporters. He was able to jog in short stretches.

He played in only three games last season because of shoulder problems, but Stafford got off to a brilliant start this season, helping the Lions to a 5-0 record before they dropped their last two games. Schwartz said the fact the Lions have an open date after the Denver game won't make the team any more cautious with Stafford.

Hill threw for 2,686 yards in 11 games last season, filling in for Stafford. The Lions went 6-10 but won their last four games with Hill and Drew Stanton playing quarterback. It was Hill's first season with Detroit.

"I approach every week the same, no matter what," Hill said. "Just being in the system a little bit longer -- I think that helps everybody."

If Stafford is able to play, it will be an NFL version of college football's big Georgia-Florida matchup, which also is this weekend. Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was a star at Florida. He split games against Stafford and Georgia in 2007 and 2008.

"That was always a fun game in college," Stafford said. "He's a great competitor, great leader, always made his guys play to another level, and he's continuing doing that in the pros."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press