Lions fans can prepare to exhale. Despite expectations to the contrary, quarterback Matthew Stafford returned to practice Tuesday, taking snaps with the first- team offense.
The Detroit News reports Stafford “looked to have no ill effects” after partially dislocating his knee cap nearly a month ago. Wednesday will be a big test for Stafford to see how he feels, but his return to practice without a noticeable limp is an encouraging development.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed practice, doing some running and catching on the sidelines as the Lions prepare to face the Rams Sunday at Ford Field. (When was the last time Detroit was favored in a game?)
Stafford’s return wasn’t the only noteworthy development at quarterback. Drew Stanton appeared to take snaps with Detroit’s second-team. It’s unclear if Stanton has passed Daunte Culpepper on the depth chart or whether Culpepper is still struggling to recover from a hamstring injury.