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Stafford practices; Best put on PUP list

QB Matthew Stafford handled the ball as if he was having no problems with his injured left hand.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Quarterback Matthew Stafford practiced Monday afternoon with no wrap on his left (non-throwing) hand, which he injured during a preseason game two days earlier.


Stafford handled the ball as if he was having no problems with the hand, which swelled up severely after he got hit and suffered a broken blood vessel.


Stafford said he was initially concerned he had a broken bone.


“Feels good,” Stafford said after practice Monday. “It’s just like a sore hand; nothing bad.”


Three other players who also came out of Saturday’s game — cornerbacks Chris Houston (ankle) and Bill Bentley (shoulder) and running back Kevin Smith (ankle) — did not practice.


Lions coach Jim Schwartz said none of the three is likely to play Thursday in Detroit's  preseason finale against Buffalo, but he indicated they likely will be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 9.


“There’s nothing that’s really long term,” Schwartz said.

 

BEST PUT ON PUP LIST


Running back Jahvid Best has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the regular season. He is not eligible to play for the first six weeks — or, in the Lions’ case, five games.


Best still hasn’t been cleared for contact since suffering two concussions last season, forcing him to miss the final 11 games.


“That’s within the range of where the doctors wanted him to be . . . the time frame they gave for a potential return,” Schwartz said, referring to the fact Best could return Oct. 22 against Chicago at the earliest. “It made it an easier decision.”


CORNERBACK HELP COMING


The Lions apparently are trying to do something to fix their weak and depleted secondary.


The Washington Examiner reported that the Lions are going to acquire cornerback Kevin Barnes from the Redskins.


“I’m not going to comment on that until we’ve passed physicals and all those kinds of things,” Schwartz said.


Barnes, listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, was a third-round draft pick by Washington in 2009 out of Maryland. He is entering his fourth NFL season.


“I’m excited,” Barnes told the Examiner. “I guess they saw something they liked.”


Barnes, 25, played in 14 games last season, including one start, and made two interceptions and 26 combined tackles.


The Examiner did not report what the Lions were giving up in the deal.

 

CUT-DOWN DAY


To get down to Monday’s mandatory 75-man roster limit, the Lions released several players, including safety Sean Jones, running backs Stephfon Green and James Bryant, kicker Derek Dimke and receivers Dominique Curry, Terrence Toliver and Jarett Dillard.


Jones, a starter for Tampa Bay last season, was expected to compete for playing time, if not a starting job, after signing as a free agent over the summer.