Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn't second-guessing his decision to start Matthew Stafford.
“No second thoughts at all,” Schwartz said Friday, a day after his rookie quarterback threw four interceptions in a 34-12 loss to Green Bay. “Him throwing the interceptions had nothing to do with his shoulder.”
Stafford separated his left, non-throwing shoulder at the end of a Nov. 22 game against Cleveland, but after a penalty returned to throw a touchdown pass with no time on the clock to secure a 38-37 win over the Browns. It was one of five touchdowns for the first pick in the 2009 NFL draft, who became the second rookie quarterback to do so.
“He started feeling better the day before,” said Schwartz, who added that Stafford missed less than a day’s worth of practice time in the short week leading up to the team’s annual Thanksgiving Day game.
TV cameras captured a heated pregame exchange between backup quarterback Daunte Culpepper and general manager Martin Mayhew before the Green Bay game. Neither commented after the game and Schwartz, who said Thursday he understood why the veteran signal-caller would be upset about not starting, only added Friday that any ill feelings have to blow over as the Lions (2-9) prepare for their next game, a Dec. 6 trip to Cincinnati.
Culpepper, who filled in for Stafford in early October while the rookie recovered from a knee injury, has thrown three interceptions and only one touchdown in two starts and one game as backup this season.
Warner practices, may play
Kurt Warner went through another full practice on Friday, but the Arizona quarterback was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Tennessee.
Warner practiced all week after sustaining a concussion in last Sunday’s 21-13 victory at St. Louis. He passed all the required mental tests on Tuesday.
Warner and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt have said they plan to be cautious as they deal with the head injury. In addition to the concussion, Warner has had tightness in his neck.
He has started 41 consecutive games for Arizona. If he doesn’t go, Matt Leinart is the backup.
Polian named new Colts GM
Chris Polian, the son of Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian, has been promoted to vice president and general manager of the team.
Colts owner Jim Irsay announced the move Friday, noting that “Chris has been involved in every aspect of our football operations for the past 12 years.”
The 38-year-old Polian, who signed a long-term contract, will oversee day-to-day operations in all football-related areas of the franchise.
Colts QB Peyton Manning has returned to full practice from an injury to his backside and is probable for Sunday’s AFC South game at Houston … Browns LB Matt Roth is happy to be out of Miami after saying the Dolphins questioned whether he was really hurt after he missed all of training camp with a groin injury. … Eagles QB Donovan McNabb can set a team record for quarterbacks by playing in his 143rd game when he lines up against the Redskins this Sunday. … With the Packers idle until they play against the Ravens on Dec. 7, coach Mike McCarthy is giving the players the next three days off.