Matthew Stafford kept his injured right thumb in the hand warmer around his waist for most of the open portion of practice Wednesday. When he took it out, he was wearing a black brace that appeared to cover the lower portion of his palm.

Stafford did not take part in Detroit Lions practice Wednesday, but remains on track to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

"We’re just trying to be smart with it," Lions coach Matt Patricia said before practice. "Obviously, I think we all know how tough Matthew Stafford is, and he’s going to do everything possible — and for the most part, it’s probably me just trying to slow it down through the course of the week. Sometimes he gets out there and gets competitive and likes to do what he knows that he can do. From that standpoint, we’ll take it day-by-day."

Stafford injured the thumb on his throwing hand late in the first quarter of last week's win over Washington.