LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Calvin Johnson to have surgery; Bush reaches 1,000; Fairley impressive and more

Posted Dec 29, 2013

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz confirmed to reporters that Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson will need offseason knee surgery, but categorized it as "minor"

Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson missed the final game of the season Sunday because of the knee and ankle injuries he's been plagued by all season long.

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz told beat writers after his post-game press conference that Johnson will require off-season knee surgery, but categorized it as "minor."

Johnson finished the year with 84 receptions for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. He failed to reach 1,500 receiving yards in a season for the first time since 2010.

Johnson, who earned his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl bid on Friday, isn't likely to play in the Pro Bowl because of injury. He hasn't played in the last two Pro Bowls, in fact, because of injury.

The team has had to manage his practice schedule throughout the season the last two years to keep him healthy enough to play on Sunday.

The Lions got good production in Minnesota from receivers Kevin Ogletree (5 catches, 75 yards) and Nate Burleson (5, 64), but there's no substitute for Megatron and the way he makes everyone else better.

The Lions need their best offensive weapon back healthy in 2014.

BUSH FOR 1,000
Reggie Bush passed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season on a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter. In doing so, Bush became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Lions since Kevin Jones in 2004.

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

He also became the first Lions running back to finish a season with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving yards since Billy Sims in 1980.

He's given the Lions exactly the production they were hoping for when they signed him to a four-year, $16 million deal this offseason.

FAIRLEY IMPRESSIVE
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley was named a Pro Bowl alternate on Friday and showed voters why he earned that distinction for the first time in his career two days later.

Fairley has been playing some of the best football of his career over the last month or so and finished Sunday's game in Minnesota with five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, a couple quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

The big defensive tackle out of Auburn, who the Lions selected No. 13 overall in 2010, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

NOT JUST ON COACHES
A lot of the talk both locally and nationally surrounding the Lions has been on the future of the coaching staff after the team lost six of their last seven games.

But where is the players' blame in this collapse? That fact wasn't lost on Bush in front of his locker after Sunday's loss.

"Ultimately this is a players' game and it will be a players' game," he said. "It's about what you do on the football field.

"We prepare as well as anybody. We work as hard as anybody. Ultimately it's about what we do on the football field. I don't put this on the coaches. It's about the players and we have to find a way to get better."

INJURIES
The defense was put in a tough spot early in the game when safety Don Carey, who was playing the nickel cornerback role for the inactive Bill Bentley, injured a knee and didn't return.

It forced Rashean Mathis to move inside in the nickel and for second-year corner Chris Greenwood to get extended time on the outside.

Both players held their own in those roles.

The offense and special teams had to change some personnel on the fly when guard Dylan Gandy injured a calf during their Saturday walkthrough.