Lions WR Calvin Johnson stood at his locker Sunday afternoon and laughed at the suggestion. His coach, Jim Caldwell, had said that Johnson at 90 percent was better than a lot of players at full strength.
Except Johnson, when he was asked if 90 percent was a fair barometer for his status, was not there.
“Nah,” Johnson said, laughing at the suggestion.
Johnson was limited during the Detroit Lions' 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday after being questionable to play with an ankle injury suffered against Green Bay last week. He was used far less than he had been in the Lions’ first three games, when he was typically in the game for at least 75 percent of the plays.
On Sunday, he rarely played two plays in a row and was only targeted twice by quarterback Matthew Stafford, catching both of those passes for 12 yards. He didn’t have his typical explosiveness or speed and after the game was still noticeably limping.
“Went out there. It was tough but I figured from moving around [on Saturday] that I’d be able to get on the field a little bit,” Johnson said. “It’s good to be out there with the fellas. It sucks to be on the sideline and not be able to play at all. It sucks to have injuries, too, but that’s just part of the game.”
It looks like he was the dreaded decoy, leaving fantasy owners with just a couple of points from their stud WR. The good news is there were no setbacks and Johnson, though limited in practice last week, felt like he improved all last week. It's now a big question how Johnson is used in Week 5. The story said a similar approach will be taken with Johnson over the next week as the team prepares for the Bills. Johnson didn't practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday of last week. The Week 5 game is a 1 p.m. contest so we'll know Johnson's status at least.