The Lions are playing coy with quarterback Matthew Stafford’s injured throwing hand, but even though the team isn’t going to say it, it’s a near certainty he’ll be in uniform and taking the opening snap when the Lions travel to Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers this Sunday.

Stafford declined to show reporters his hand during his typical Wednesday press conference. He dressed for practice, but didn’t throw, keeping his hands buried in handwarmer for nearly all of the portion open to the media. And later, in the locker room, he walked around with his hand under a towel or a coat, hidden from prying eyes.

A quick glimpse of the injury during practice revealed he had two digits individually taped — his pinkie and ring finger. That’s better than Monday, when his middle finger was also bandaged.

Maybe it’s playing up the competitive advantage the Lions believe the uncertainty provides, but there’s little reason to doubt he’ll play.

“One thing that I’m so impressed with on him, on Matthew, is his toughness,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said during a conference call with Detroit reporters. “I mean, he’s taken a lot of hits. What was it, either a week or two ago when he got his ankle rolled up on. I guess that maybe that was even on Thanksgiving, I mean it looked like he wouldn’t be able to come back that and he was back out there the next series. So, yeah, I would never question his toughness.”