During the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions every week from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."
20man: There has been no update to Johnson's status other than he continues to be categorized as day-to-day with a left knee injury. I saw him in the locker room Wednesday walking around with no limp.
He did not participate in Wednesday's walkthrough practice, however, and wasn't on the field Thursday. That's certainly not a good sign for his availability this week in Buffalo.
The fact that the Lions haven't placed him on IR means they've still left the door open for a possible return. The key will be the practice report. Once he returns to practice, then we'll know he's getting close. Until then, it will be the LeGarrette Blount, Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick show in Detroit's backfield.
20man: I don't agree with your assessment that there's been zero pass rush off the edge. The Lions have the 10th most sacks in the NFL (37), and 20.5 of those have come from edge players Romeo Okwara (6.5), Devon Kennard (6.0), Eli Harold (4.0) and Ansah (4.0).
If the Lions and Ansah part ways this offseason, Okwara is a restricted free agent and a candidate to be re-signed. Kennard is under contract through 2020.
This defense likes to utilize the talents of hybrid rushers. Look for players who can play outside and inside (like Da'Shawn Hand) or can stand up and move around and rush the edge or put their hand in the dirt. Those kind of hybrid players seem to fit this scheme the best, and will probably be the type of players the Lions look to add to their front seven this offseason.
20man: It is a much heavier man coverage scheme in Detroit, and that's been an adjustment for Tabor this year.
Lions defensive backs coach Brian Stewart told reports this week there are currently no plans to move Tabor to safety. That's not to say plans can't change, but at least for now the Lions are going to continue to work with him at cornerback and hope to see development.
20man: The Lions do have some pieces in place, but there are also some holes they need to fill as well. I believe there will be an expectation to win and compete for a division championship next season. It will be year four for GM Bob Quinn, and it will be Matt Patricia's second season as head coach.
Patricia's systems are in place, and the adjustment period to how he wants things to be run is over. The defense is playing well right now, and all the key pieces on that unit are under contract. I'd expect the team to address some issues they have on offense in the offseason.
20man: I actually thought about this last week watching Tate catch one pass for seven yards as he played only 20 snaps in the Eagles' loss to Dallas. Philadelphia doesn't seem to know how to use him.
Tate's lack of production in Philadelphia could give teams some caution this offseason in signing him to the kind of money and security he was looking for heading into the final year of his contract here in Detroit.
I'd say it's probably unlikely there's a return to Detroit in Tate's future, but I wouldn't completely rule it out if Tate doesn't find what he's looking for in the open market and the price point fits Detroit's cap space.
I also expect Detroit to add a young receiver in the draft or free agency to pair with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr.
20man: Zenner really transformed his body after being released with an injury settlement after a back injury in August. When he returned in November, he'd added 10 pounds of muscle. It showed in his physique and it showed in his running in the fourth quarter last week in Arizona. He was breaking tackles and moving the pile. It was impressive to watch. I figure it will earn him some more opportunities moving forward as long as Johnson remains out.
Jim Bob Cooter said this week he's never been around a player that works as hard as Zenner. Zenner is smart, versatile and dependable. I would expect the Lions to try and re-sign him for a backup role for Johnson and someone who can be a core special teamer.
20man: You're right about him not having had an extended shot. He played 24 snaps in the slot in Chicago Week 10 and caught one pass for six yards.
The team brought in veteran Bruce Ellington, and obviously has liked what he brought to the table more than Powell. Part of that probably stems from the practice field, which we don't get to see during the regular season. The fact that Powell hasn't received more opportunities tells me Ellington has outperformed him there.
You might get your wish this week, however. Ellington injured his hamstring last week in Arizona, and hasn't practiced Wednesday or Thursday. If he sits out again Friday, Powell could be active in Buffalo and get some run in the slot.
20man: The team needs cornerback depth and someone to compete with Nevin Lawson for the No. 2 job behind Slay.
But Detroit also needs a receiver who can separate from coverage and create space on his own. Ellington is the best on the team in that regard, according to the NFL's Next Gen stats. He ranks 34th in separation among receivers. Golladay is next, ranking 74th. They need another player who can create space and make plays.
I'd expect both positions to be addressed this offseason with cornerback having a little bit more importance to me.
20man: Hand seems to have escaped any serious injury, which didn't look to be the case last Sunday when he was carted to the locker room in Arizona for more tests.
The team has not placed him on IR, which is good news for now, considering how well he's played this year. He's been a great fourth-round pick for Quinn.
Hand didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, so he could sit this week, but it looks like he avoided a serious injury.
20man: Charlie does a good job.
I also really like Daniel Jeremiah, who was a scout for three different teams, and really does a good job with his analysis of both the good and the bad on players.
The other person I really respect is Greg Cosell of NFL Films. He's one of the most honest evaluators in the business. I respect him so much that after every draft I have him break down the Lions' draft class for me on Detroitlions.com.
Hope that helps, but stick around for the next three weeks. There's still some football to be played.