LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Calvin Johnson was "close" to playing; Levy continues great play and injuries in GB

Posted Oct 6, 2013

Calvin Johnson said he was "close" to playing Sunday after his pregame workout

Jim SchwartzPhoto: G. Smith/Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford said he had a feeling the Lions would be without All Pro receiver Calvin Johnson in Green Bay as early as Saturday.

Reggie Bush knew it was a possibility all week long as the team prepared to play both with him and without him at practice.

Johnson, though, said he held out hope right up to the 90-minute deadline to list inactive players with that his sore knee.

“It was close,” he said. “It’s tough. You see your boys out there grinding and not to be able to be out there with (them is tough), them you always want to be out there to play with them. Especially on Sundays, it’s the one chance of the week.”

It was evident in warmups that Johnson just wasn’t right. He’s didn’t run routes with the other receivers and his body language seemed off from a normal game day.

The fact that Johnson said it was a “close” decision could be good news moving forward.

Johnson was asked if he’s been given a short-term window to return and he said: “Should be. We’ll see.”

THE SCREEN KILLER

DeAndre Levy is garnering a nickname among his teammates -- the screen killer.

Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham told detroitlions.com of the nickname earlier in the week. It comes from Levy’s uncanny ability this year to see a screen develop and go and stuff it out before the play get’s rolling.

Levy blew up a screen intended for Packers running back Eddie Lacy for a two-yard loss in the second quarter. In the same drive, he got his hands on a quick pass out to Randall Cobb that forced a punt.

In all, Levy had 14 tackles, three for loss, and defended a pass. He had himself a terrific game in the loss.

TWO IN A ROW

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew didn’t start the season like he would have hoped, but the last two weeks he’s been very good for the Lions.

He caught all seven targets in a win last week vs. Chicago and had four more catches for 59 yards this week.

Three of those catches came in the fourth quarter, when the Lions were trying to get back in the game and needed a play.

For a second consecutive week, Pettigrew provided that.

MARTIN CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

The Lions offense struggled without the aforementioned Johnson, but the Lions were bailed out a few times by punter Sam Martin, who continues to impress during his rookie season.

Martin had six punts for 311 yards (51.8 average) with a net of 42.8.

He dropped two punts inside the 20-yard line and had two touchbacks.

The NFL leader in punting heading into Week 5 was Brandon Fields (Miami), who had a 49.7 average.

Counting Sunday, Martin has now averaged more than 50 yards per punt in four of five games this year.

INJURY FRONT

Rookie running back Theo Riddick suffered a concussion in the first quarter and was briefly taken to the hospital for more tests during the game before rejoining the team for the flight home.

Right tackle Jason Fox suffered a left knee injury and did not return after leaving the game in the second half.

Head coach Jim Schwartz didn’t have an update on his condition after the game. Fox was playing in his first game since suffering a groin injury Week 1.