Calvin Johnson missed Sundays game against the Packers because of a nagging knee injury that has been with him since the preseason.
Johnson’s absence was noticeable on the field as the Lions were only able to muster 9 points and had trouble getting the ball down field. To make matters worse Green Bay defensive front dominated the Lions offensive line and sacked Matthew Stafford 5 times most of which he didn’t have a chance to escape.
So with Calvin Johnson being so important to the Lions offense, when will he return?
Jim Schwartz said during his weekly press conference that the Lions would have to wait and see:
I really don’t have any anticipation,” Schwartz said about practice this week. “We will just take and see how it comes. We’ve been through that before with him. He set an NFL record last year and he had limited practice time for a significant portion of that. We will take it as it comes.
If he can get out on the practice field, that’s great, and if he can’t then we’ll wait until the next day.
We’ll see where he gets this week, He’s improving every day and if we can get him back, that’ll be a big bonus for us for sure.”
Schwartz also made clear that even if Calvin Johnson isn’t game ready there will be no thought of using him as a decoy. At least it wasn’t an option for last Sunday’s game.
If he’s not healthy enough to play, we are certainly not going to put a player out there to decoy because he still has to run routes,” Schwartz said. “I mean what’s he going to do? Just line up and put his hand up in the air?
“I mean he still has to run routes and still be an option for the quarterback and have the potential to be able to take hits and things like that. That wasn’t an option at all.”
Every game that Calvin Johnson is out is bad for the Lions who have already suffered the loss of Nate Burleson to a broken forearm. The lack of depth at the position is painfully obvious. The Lions recently signed Kevin Ogletree who did contribute but was unable to make a major impact on short notice. If Calvin Johnson has to miss the Cleveland game it will require some creative game planning on the part of Scott Linehan to make the offense work.