Caldwell: Stafford 'not out of the woods' with injured throwing hand

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell said quarterback Matthew Stafford is "not out of the woods yet" with his right hand injury, suffered against Baltimore on Sunday.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs inadvertently stepped on Stafford's hand, leaving it badly bruised, after the quarterback was taken down while throwing an interception in the fourth quarter. X-rays came back negative, but Monday he still had the middle, ring and pinkie fingers on his right hand individually taped up, and swelling on the hand was observed from a distance.

At practice Wednesday, Stafford suited up but did little during the portion open to the media. He was officially listed as limited in practice. He handed off a few times but did not attempt a pass, leaving most of that work to backup Jake Rudock. While Rudock threw, Stafford stood off to the side.

It was unclear whether Stafford had anything on his right hand because he was far away from where the media is positioned during the open portion of practice.

"He's not out of the woods yet," Caldwell said Wednesday. "We'll kind of see what he can do kind of as the week goes on. It's not like it's some insignificant injury; that's not the case. It's something that he's going to have to really work at and deal with during the course of the week to see where he is. It's not like he's out of the woods."

Stafford said feeling has come back to his hand after saying Sunday there was initial numbness and some burning.

Stafford would not show his right hand to reporters Wednesday during his weekly media availability, walking to a podium with both hands inside a hooded sweatshirt. A couple of times during his chat with the media, his left hand came out. His right hand never made an appearance. When asked if he would show his hand, Stafford said, "I would rather not."

Asked if he could play if the game was Wednesday, he said, "That's a good question."

In the locker room after practice, Stafford had his hand covered with a towel. As he walked out of the locker room, the hand was in his pocket.

Caldwell said he'll manage reps between Stafford and Rudock "delicately," as he might have to try to get two quarterbacks ready to face Tampa Bay on Sunday. Caldwell said doctors will monitor Stafford's hand during the week and then, based on what they say, it's a matter of whether he can function as a quarterback. Caldwell did say, though, that the hand is "progressing in the right direction."

"Can he do all the things you're asking him to do? And that entails quite a bit, you know, because he handles the ball on every play from an offensive standpoint," Caldwell said. "So we'll see where he is. He's got to be able to function.

"And often times he comes through, but this one, this one is going to take a little work."

Stafford has started 108 straight games for the Lions. This season, he has completed 271 of 424 passes for 3,302 yards, 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

Also on Wednesday, right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang did not participate in the open portion of practice.