Best guess is Matthew Stafford returns on Halloween

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Matthew Stafford continues to make progress in returning from his sprained right shoulder, but the best estimate is that he will miss one more game this coming Sunday before returning after the Detroit Lions’ bye week.

That would get Stafford back in action for the Oct. 31 home game against the Washington Redskins. The Lions travel to play at the New York Giants this week and with the vision of them sacking Chicago Bears quarterbacks 10 times fresh in the minds of everyone, the last thing the Lions want to do is rush Stafford back too soon.

“He's making progress,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Each day that he goes out and does something, he does a little bit more.”

Stafford refuses to put a timetable on a return. He was injured in the second quarter of the season opener at Chicago, the former No. 1 pick’s third significant injury in just more than a season.

“I'm getting there,” Stafford said on “The Mitch Albom Show” on WJR-AM 760. “I'm still rehabbing, doing all that stuff. I've started throwing a little bit this week. I threw today some, and I'll throw probably again Wednesday and Friday and see how it feels and go from there.

“It feels pretty good. I wouldn't call it 100 percent. I don't feel like it did preinjury, but it's feeling pretty good, so that's encouraging.”

The next question for the Lions is when wide receiver Calvin Johnson will be healthy. He suffered a shoulder injury diving to make a catch in the fourth quarter on Sunday when the Lions led the St. Louis Rams 31-6. Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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