Johnson Continues to Progress

Posted Nov 5, 2009

After sitting out the past two games with a knee injury suffered against Pittsburgh, wide receiver Calvin Johnson was able to get back onto the practice field last this week on a limited basis.

While he was unable to perform against St. Louis, Johnson has continued to make progress this week and is hopeful he’ll be ready to go at Seattle.

“He’s making progress. He’s getting a little bit more and every day he’s a little bit better,” said Head Coach Jim Schwartz. “He’s making progress. He’s still going to end up being a game time decision on Sunday.”

Sitting on the sideline has been tough for Johnson, who is pleased to finally be back into a routine. He is showing improvement from day-to-day.

“I’m feeling alright. It’s just a few little nicks and bruises left in there or whatever and I’m just trying to fight through that, but otherwise I’m alright.” said Johnson. “I’m able to practice, so it’s feeling pretty good. Just a little tightness in there.”

Johnson’s absence on the field has certainly been felt. While he not only poses as a deep threat in the passing game, Johnson also affects defensive coverage, which allows for other players to make plays down field.

“(The offense) doesn’t rest solely on him, but he is obviously an important part of it because he affects the way that it opens things up for other guys,” said Schwartz.

“You take any great player in the National Football League (like) RB Adrian Peterson, from Minnesota, and it opens up their passing game because of the way people have to defend him.”

After a hard loss to St. Louis last weekend, the receiving corps in particular had issues to address.

The receivers accounted for only two catches for 43 yards, an issue which Calvin Johnson believes are easily fixable, mental mistakes.

“It was tough sitting there and watching the film. We had some drops in there and that’s always tough to watch,” said Johnson.

“The big focus this week was seeing that ball into your hands and not running with it before you get it. Those things are all about running out of your routes so that you don’t have to make it be such a hard catch. It’s just simple things like that.”

This weekend should prove to be a good opportunity for Lions receivers to rebound from their match-up against the Rams on the road.

 “They have some good DBs, especially in (Marcus) Trufant, a Pro Bowler,” said Johnson. “They have DBs with good ball skills, so we just have to be aggressive in coming back to the ball and be physical with those guys.”

With another day of practice left, and a travel day on Saturday, Johnson feels good about the possibility of returning to the line-up on Sunday, though that will remain a game time decision.

“I’m practicing this week, but I’m not going to step out there and say that I’m going to play,” he said. “But I feel real good. I have a good shot at getting on the field.”