Stafford limps off after fumble return by Titans

BY foxsports • September 23, 2012

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has been replaced by Shaun Hill late in the fourth quarter after coming up limping trying to chase down a Tennessee defender on a 72-yard fumble return for a touchdown Sunday.

Alterraun Verner took the ball out of Brandon Pettigrew's hands after a 6-yard catch and ran it back for the touchdown with 1:16 left. Stafford tried to run down Verner before pulling up after hurting his right leg. He limped back to the sideline, and Shaun Hill replaced Stafford for the next series with the Lions trailing 41-27.

Team officials say Stafford strained a leg muscle.

The Titans played the second half without tight end Jared Cook after he hurt his left shoulder late in the first half.

Cook had four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. He came down hard on a 7-yard catch on the final drive of the second quarter, went to the sideline and quickly went to the locker room. He returned for the second half still wearing his uniform pants with a T-shirt. Team officials had called his return questionable and offered no update after halftime.

Detroit punter Ben Graham hurt his left calf in the first quarter, forcing the Lions to turn to kicker Jason Hanson to pull double duty on special teams.

Graham seemed to hurt the calf on a 38-yard punt that the Titans returned 65 yards for a touchdown on a lateral from Darius Reynaud across the field to Tommie Campbell. That TD put Tennessee ahead 10-6 with 33 seconds left.

Graham is questionable to return, and Hanson managed a 37-yard punt on the next series for Detroit.