After not practicing on Wednesday, wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) did not participate in practice again on Thursday, causing more people to speculate on whether he will be alright to play this Sunday against the New York Jets.
Now, before practice on Wednesday, Johnson, who injured his right ankle in the team’s 19-7 win over the Green Bay Packers, insisted that he would play this Sunday against the New York Jets, despite an ankle injury. However, it appears that he’s may be a little more hurt than we thought, considering the Lions conducted their second practice of the week without Johnson.
While none of this is to say that Johnson will not play this Sunday in New York, it’s still causes some people to worry about his overall health, including the coaching staff.
“Anytime that someone doesn’t practice, particularly when it’s not just a day of rest, which we would indicate on the medical report, there’s always some concern,” head coach Jim Caldwell said on Thursday before practice.
That being said, I still think the Lions are just being cautious with Johnson. Basically meaning that the Lions could very well give him limited action in practice for the rest of the week and then play him on Sunday, if he feels up to it.
So while it’s not necessarily great to see Johnson sit-out of practice two days in a row. Johnson’s health is always an area of importance and will always come first. So for now, we will have to wait and see if he practices on Friday and from there, we will wait to find out his game status for this Sunday against the Jets.
Beyond Johnson, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf), who was limited for the second practice in a row did appear to be moving better than he was Wednesday, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. However, for the time being, it still remains unknown whether he will play or not this Sunday. Remember, Waddle said on Monday that he hopes to play against New York, but that his availability would depend on this week of practice.
Although, I’m sure the Lions are okay with Waddle having to sit out another week, if he is not fully ready. There is no doubt that the Lions want him back on the field. In fact, veteran guard Rob Sims, spoke about the impact that Waddle has when on the field before practice on Thursday.
“I think the other guys (Garrett Reynolds and Cornelius Lucas) are doing really good but LaAdrian (Waddle) is that guy in there.” Sims said. “He’s that bully in there. He’s done a great job since he’s been here and he’s part of our starting five. It would mean a lot (to get him back).”
As Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com mentioned earlier this week, the Lions have certainly missed Waddle’s ability to help the run game.
The run game has particularly missed Waddle’s presence. The Lions averaged 4.5 yards per rush running over the right side last year. They’re averaging just 2.81 yards per rush running there through three games this year.
I don’t know about but I think the quarterback Matthew Stafford has missed Waddle’s presence in pass protection as well. It may have gone unnoticed by some but Reynolds and Lucas have allowed Stafford to be sacked a total of five times in the Lions last two games, with four of those sacks coming against Carolina Panthers in Week 2. Even though, it’s not the most horrendous stat ever, it’s certainly not the most flattering one either.
“It’s definitely not fun being on the sideline or being at home like I was for Carolina watching on television, but that’s just part of the process,” Waddle said. “I can’t go out there and try to play if I’m not ready to go. Obviously, it’s frustrating, but I’m trying to get better as fast I can so I can get back out there.”
Besides Johnson, safety Don Carey (hamstring), tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle), cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) also sat out of practice on Thursday.
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley (biceps), full back Montell Owens (hamstring) were limited in practice again. While defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (knee) and runing back Joique Bell (knee) were upgraded from limited practice to full practice.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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