The Detroit Lions got a boost on offense with Matthew Stafford’s return to practice.
Barring a surprising setback, Stafford appears healthy enough to play in Week 4.
Stafford joined teammates on the field Thursday morning, a day after sitting out with an injured right hip. Stafford hurt his hip last week in practice and aggravated it in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and left the game.
‘‘I feel better than I did yesterday,’’ he said after practice. ‘‘We'll see how it goes. That’s my story, and I'm sticking to it.’’
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft bounced back last year from two injury-riddled seasons by throwing for 5,000-plus yards, with 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, helping Detroit end an 11-year postseason drought.
It appears Stafford’s full assortment of receiving options will be available against Minnesota.
Stafford proved he could play through pain last year with a sprained right ankle and a broken right index finger that was supported by a splint and covered with a glove.
‘‘He’s tough,’’ Lions receiver Nate Burleson said. ‘‘It was great to see him on the field with us, throwing the ball around with some swagger and a bounce in his step.’’
The Lions’ defense, meanwhile, took a hit. Starting tackle Corey Williams had knee surgery this week and is out for Sunday’s game.
‘‘He'll be week to week,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.
Fujita gets meeting
Browns linebacker Scott Fujita is scheduled to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday about his suspension in the Saints’ bounty case that was temporarily lifted earlier this month.
Fujita was suspended for three games for his role in the bounty program while he played for New Orleans. He missed a meeting last week with Goodell while recuperating from a knee injury, and was not granted a video conference meeting with the commissioner.
Previously, Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, still with the Saints, and Anthony Hargrove, now a free agent, met with Goodell after an appeals panel ruled Goodell must redefine the parameters of the suspensions, showing they were for an intent-to-injure program.
A guilty plea
Richard Khamir Hurd, a former Baylor basketball player, pleaded guilty to trying to extort $1 million from Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by threatening to expose damaging information, prosecutors said.
Hurd, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of a threat related to extortion. He faces 2-3 years in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 21.
The US attorney’s office said Hurd, a former walk-on basketball player at the school where Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, contacted one of Griffin’s agents in June with a demand of $1 million in order not to release information that would damage the quarterback’s reputation.
According to an FBI affidavit, Hurd first gave the agent a deadline of June 18 but extended it to give the agent time to discuss the offer with others.
Griffin’s agent contacted authorities. Under the FBI’s direction, the agent reached an agreement to pay Hurd $120,000 for the information and his signature on a nondisclosure agreement. Hurd arrived June 22 at a law office to sign the paperwork and collect the check. FBI agents arrested him afterward.
Mays loses appeal
His appeal denied, Broncos linebacker Joe Mays will miss a game for the hit that cost Texans quarterback Matt Schaub a piece of his ear.
And while the Denver coaches, already fined a combined $55,000 this season for their conduct, might not be in any position to complain, cornerback Champ Bailey certainly isn’t holding back. ‘‘A lot of it’s bogus to me,’’ Bailey said.
Mays had his appeal rejected by the NFL Thursday, meaning the $50,000 fine and one-game suspension he received earlier this week stands. He'll miss Sunday’s game against Oakland.
Bradshaw is back
Ahmad Bradshaw is ready to return as the Giants’ top running back after being sidelined for a game with an inflamed disk in his neck. Bradshaw has not missed a practice in preparing for Sunday night’s game against the Eagles in Philadelphia, and coach Tom Coughlin intends to start him. ‘‘It’s a big game for me,’’ Bradshaw said. ‘‘I'm ready to get back into things. It’s a divisional opponent, and I think it’s a big contest for our team.’’ . . . Jaguars receiver Laurent Robinson missed a second consecutive day of practice while recovering from a concussion.