The Lions played without wide receiver Calvin Johnson on Sunday and the play of their offense in a 22-9 loss to the Packers was a big reminder of how much Johnson means to the team.
After the contest, Johnson said he felt that he was “close” to playing after an early workout at Lambeau Field on Sunday, but the decision was ultimately made to rest his aching knee this week in hopes of getting back to full speed as quickly as possible. Will that be in time for next weekend’s date with the Browns?
“Should be. We’ll see,” Johnson said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com.
Coach Jim Schwartz made the argument after the game that Johnson’s absence had no impact on the Lions offense because he wasn’t one of the players in uniform and because they had a game plan drawn up for use without Johnson in the lineup. We’re quite familiar with coach speak in these parts and that’s a gold medal contender in the category because there isn’t a soul alive who watched the Lions at all on Sunday and said to themselves that things would have been exactly the same with Johnson on the field.
And it would affect them again next week if Johnson’s prediction about his return proves to be incorrect, regardless of how much you plan around his absence.