Johnson returns, Mathis sits at Lions practice

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Rashean Mathis speaks to reporters at Lions practice at Chandler's Cross on Wednesday.

Chandler’s Cross, England — Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson returned to practice fully Thursday after resting Wednesday, but another key starter was a surprising absence.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis (illness) did not participate during the portion of practice open to the media at The Grove, the luxury resort outside of London where the Lions are preparing for Sunday’s game.

However, he must’ve practice before or after the media left because he was officially limited in the practice, which is a good sign for his availability for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m., FOX).

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (elbow) also appears to be on track to return after missing the past two games. He practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford (quad), linebacker Stephen Tulloch (illness) and punter Sam Martin (left knee) also practiced fully.

In addition to Johnson returning, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (knee) was back after sitting Wednesday, but he was limited. Coach Jim Caldwell declined to provide details on Waddle’s health status.

Running back Joique Bell (ankle) was also limited despite being a full participant Wednesday.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip) was the only other player who missed practice as he continues to recover from hip surgery.

Golden Tate hoping to bounce back under Cooter