Calvin Johnson misses practice again
While Johnson rarely talks about injuries, when he was asked if he anticipated playing Sunday, he gave a one word answer.
"Yeah," Johnson said.
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Johnson said all of his injuries are game-related and about maintaining his body so he could be available to play in games. He has played in eight of Detroit's nine games this season and caught 53 passes for 904 yards and nine touchdowns.
"Body feeling good," Johnson said. "Just got some maintenance issues that we're just taking care of."
Should Johnson be unable to go Sunday for whatever reason, the Lions would be without their top two receivers. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Detroit (6-3) is not planning on playing receiver Nate Burleson against Pittsburgh (3-6).
Coach Jim Schwartz denied the report Thursday.
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"No, we don't make any game status decisions until Friday," Schwartz said.
If Burleson and Johnson don't play, wide receivers Kris Durham and Kevin Ogletree would be on the outside with Jeremy Ross in the slot. But it would appear at least Johnson is on track to being on the field against the Steelers.
"Guys are getting more and more comfortable with their roles," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "We've got some new guys that aren't so new anymore that have been with us for three, four, five weeks and so we've got some experience there. We have guys that can step in and get the job done.
"We have all the confidence in the world in the guys who are going to be out there for us."