Detroit Lions getting players back after bye week

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, right, fumbles as he is hit by Saints defensive end Alex Okafor, causing a touchdown on the recovery in the end zone in the first half in New Orleans on Oct. 15. (AP photo)

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK — Khyri Thornton missed the first six games of the season while suspended, and although the Detroit Lions played fine for a while without the defensive tackle, toward the end of his ban, a key teammate went down with a serious injury.
Haloti Ngata went on injured reserve a couple of weeks ago following an elbow injury, leaving Detroit without a crucial interior defensive lineman. That’s an area where Thornton can help.
Thornton was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, but he’s now eligible to return and the Lions activated him Monday.
Detroit is coming off an open date and will host Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The break in the schedule came after the Lions dropped two games in a row to fall to 3-3.
“Obviously, it came at a time that we needed it, when a couple guys went down and had some bumps and bruises,” wide receiver Marvin Jones said. “But it was great for the mind — to escape and just to take some time to reflect and then kind of let it pass by.”