The Lions got wide receiver Calvin Johnson back in the lineup last week, but it wasn’t exactly the Johnson we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years.
Johnson played only 38 offensive snaps against the Browns and didn’t run too many downfield routes as he served largely as a decoy because his knee wouldn’t allow him to do more. Johnson won’t be back to full strength for this weekend’s matchup against the Bengals, but he has been practicing this week and Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan thinks Johnson will be able to play a bigger role this time out.
“I would think so,” Linehan said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not an overnight thing to get back to 100 percent, but he’s working very hard to get there, so I don’t see why there’s any reason he wouldn’t be able to have a few more [plays] this week. But it has everything to do with how the game goes.”
The Lions offense was able to come up with enough points in the second half to knock off the Browns, but there’s no question that they’re a less dynamic team without Johnson going at full speed. They’ll have to settle for something closer against a strong Bengals defense and hope that the rest of the offense helps make up the difference again this weekend.