The Detroit Lions opened up a three-game home stand with a win Sunday against Carolina, but there wasn't much time for head coach Matt Patricia and his team to celebrate the victory. It's a short turnaround for the Lions with the division-leading Chicago Bears due in town in a couple days to take part in Detroit's annual Thanksgiving Day Game this Thursday.
Patricia talked to the media Monday. Here are the key questions from that press conference:
What is the status of running back Kerryon Johnson?
Johnson suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 20-19 win over the Panthers. The rookie had 87 yards rushing and a touchdown in the game at the time of his injury midway through the third quarter. He did not return.
There were reports Monday that Johnson's injury wasn't as significant as first feared. Patricia was asked Monday how relieved he was for that to be the case.
"I think again for us – maybe I mentioned this last night or something – we just try to get through last night, get to today, try to get everything evaluated and we'll take it day-by-day," Patricia said.
"We'll see how it goes. We just have to stay even keel with all of it and make sure we prepare like we're just pushing forward."
Being day-to-day, as Patricia described it, it's unclear if Johnson will be available Thursday on such a quick turnaround. He wouldn't have practiced Monday had the team held one, per the team's estimated practice report.
What's the plan if Johnson can't play?
If he can't go, LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner will have to try and keep Chicago's defense honest by continuing to run the ball as efficiently as Johnson has all season.
Johnson, a second-round pick out of Auburn, has brought stability to the Lions' offense this season. He has 641 yards rushing (5.4 average) and three touchdowns through 10 games, including two 100-yard performances.
"Certainly, Kerryon has a skillset that's great, just like a lot of our other guys do and try to do best we can to exploit the skillsets of the players that are out there," Patricia said. "I think we have good players, we have dynamic guys, guys that can make plays in different ways and it's not cookie cutter.
"Football is not that way. When you have a different player that's in and in the same position, it doesn't mean that they can do the same thing. You have to be able to adjust with that and do a good job of handling that, whatever the situation is, whoever those guys are."
Would the Lions consider adding a running back to the roster this week?
"I mean, we'll see, it's obviously a real short week so we'll just kind of see how it goes," Patricia said.
What are the advantages and disadvantages playing on a short week?
Certainly the familiarity these two clubs have with one another helps on a short week. There's also the fact that these two teams played just eight days ago in Chicago.
"Being Chicago that we just played them obviously situation where we know the team, we know the players," Patricia said. "Some of that stuff is familiar, we just have to put it back in the memory banks.
"The lack of preparation time or the lack of week of practice and all the rest of it is a little bit of an issue because there's definitely going to be something that pops up that's new, neither team has seen before, something we're both going to have handle and try to do a good job of adjusting when it does come up. Definitely that will be a big part of it from that standpoint."
How good did Chicago look Sunday night?
The Bears extended their lead in the NFC North, and improved their season record to 7-3, with a 25-20 victory over the Vikings on Sunday Night Football.
"This a really good football team," Patricia said of the Bears. "I think there's a lot of it on there that looks exactly what you would expect it to look like from Chicago on all three phases. Their players are still doing a great job of making plays when they need to, and they make a lot of them.
"Certainly they did that again (Sunday) night. They're playing at a high level, they're playing very confident. They're playing really good football right now, so it will be a big challenge for us."
What did Patricia think of Matthew Stafford's performance Sunday playing with a makeshift receiving corps?
Stafford completed passes to six different receivers and finished 23-of-37 passing for 220 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.
"He's done a great job of handling everything," Patricia said. "From an adjustment standpoint or guys in and out of the roster or just being consistent in his preparation and staying smart, staying tough and just trying to lead every single day.
"So those aren't easy transitions. Change and all that stuff is never simple, but it's definitely something from a mentality standpoint that we understand as a football team that we're going to have to be prepared and ready when they come up."