NOTEBOOK: Calvin Johnson expected to play Friday

Posted Aug 18, 2014

Tim Twentyman covers all the news from Monday's practice including Calvin Johnson's playing time, C.J. Mosley's starting role and more.

Calvin Johnson will make his 2014 preseason debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on Friday, but defensive end Ziggy Ansah might have to wait another week to make his.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said before practice today he plans to get Johnson "some work" this week, but was noncommittal in terms of exactly how much time his star receiver will get on the field.

“We plan to get him some work this week, but that’s today that I’m telling you that,” Caldwell said. “Towards the end of the week, if something adjusts where we have to adjust here and there, it could be that with a number of guys, but we plan to get him some work this week.”

Johnson has sat out the team’s first two preseason games vs. Cleveland and Oakland. The Lions have been careful with him after he underwent knee and finger surgeries this offseason.

Caldwell said most starters are expected to play into the third quarter, but Johnson could be different.

“That’s a possibility,” he said.

The coaches want to see how the starters react after a halftime of adjustments, which is why we could see them still on the field early in the third quarter, but don’t expect them to hang around for much more than a series or two.

Ansah missed the first two weeks of training camp after offseason shoulder surgery and the Lions just activated him off the PUP list last week. They held him out of Friday’s loss in Oakland.

Caldwell said he doesn't know at this point whether Ansah will be ready to go vs. Jacksonville.

“I’m not certain, the medical staff will look at him, even though he’s off of PUP, we’re still going to bring him along according to what he can handle from a physical standpoint,” Caldwell said.

“So, we’ll get a sense of that, he’s doing a little bit more today in practice and he’ll do a little bit more tomorrow and then we’ll see what happens come game day.”


CJ MosleyDT CJ Mosley (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Caldwell confirmed before practice Monday that C.J. Mosley remains his starting defensive tackle ahead of Nick Fairley.

“If you’re asking me whether or not Fairley’s going to be a starter, he’s not starting right now. He’s second team,” Caldwell said.

“But the rest of it, we’ll look. It’s a long week, we’ve got a lot of work to do in between, and typically, like most games, we’ll take a look at where we are and make an assessment on that towards the end of the week. 

“It’s hard to make assessments during the preseason, (especially) the early part of the week. Injuries occur, this is a contact game, it’s a 100 percent injury rate, so things can change along the way.” 

Mosley had three tackles in Oakland last week. Fairley played more snaps and had one tackle.

It appears the only way Fairley is getting his starting spot back at this point is by an injury to someone above him.


The third preseason game is typically a dress rehearsal week for the regular season and that’s no different in Detroit with Caldwell.

“You won’t be able to do everything, because some of the rules dictate otherwise, but you can get as close as you possibly can,” Caldwell said.

“From a meeting standpoint, time on the field, what happens in between meetings and things of that nature and try and go into a fair amount of detail.  You can’t cover every detail in this small time period, but nevertheless, it’s an important one for us.”


Rookie receiver TJ Jones remains on the PUP list. He sat out Monday’s practice, and was joined by safety DeJon Gomes, who left the Oakland game with a neck injury.

Besides those two, the Lions are quite healthy heading into Friday’s third preseason game.