Calvin Johnson excused from practice


ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- While tight end Eric Ebron sat out practice for the second straight day and Ezekiel Ansah continued to work his way back from the active physically unable to perform list, another high-profile name was missing from practice altogether.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed Thursday afternoon's Detroit Lions practice with what coach Jim Caldwell called an excused absence.

Caldwell said he expects Johnson to be available for Saturday's preseason opener against Cleveland, but wouldn't commit to actually playing him against the Browns.

The first-year Lions coach said he has made some determinations on whether or not certain players will participate in Saturday's game, but he would not indicate which players won't play.

"We've talked about some situations and we are considering some and the positions I'm not going to name because I know the follow-up question, but nevertheless," Caldwell said. "We're looking at it and we'll wait until we get a little bit closer to game time to see how it shakes out.

"Every day is a little bit different. We had a couple guys get a little banged up so we'll go in and reassess ourselves and see where we are."

Among the players who got nicked a little bit Thursday was safety James Ihedigbo, who said another player collided into the back of his right calf. He said after practice "I'll be fine" and expected to practice Friday.