After missing practice on Wednesday, wide receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) and running back Joique Bell (concussion) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday for the Detroit Lions. While it’s not great to see any of the Lions play-makers on the sideline again, this honestly shouldn’t come as shock to anyone.
After Bell left the Lions’ win over the New York Jets in the third quarter with a possible concussion, everybody figured he wouldn’t play this Sunday, especially once the injury report on Wednesday confirmed that he had a concussion. Then you add that with the fact that head coach Jim Caldwell implied on Thursday that the Lions are preparing with the expectation that Bell won’t play, because he hasn’t cleared protocol yet. That made it all but clear that Bell wouldn’t practice on Thursday and to be honest, I don’t expect him to practice the rest of the week.
Now when it comes to Johnson, it’s not a surprise to see him sit out of practice again on Thursday. As I mentioned yesterday, Johnson injured his ankle against the Green Bay Packers in week three and played only 50 percent of the snaps on Sunday against the Jets. Although he told reporters before practice yesterday that he was feeling better this week, than he was last week, I figured the Lions would be smart and take it easy with Johnson.
Remember, last week Johnson sat out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday and then was limited in practice on Friday. So it’s possible we could see that same trend continue this week. Along with Bell and Johnson, tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle), Travis Lewis (quad) and Theo Riddick (hamstring) were also held of practice. Fauria is still on crutches after injuring his ankle in a household incident involving his puppy.
Beyond that, wide receiver Golden Tate, appeared on the injury report for the first time Thursday with a hamstring injury, which caused the Lions to limit him in practice. Considering Tate wasn’t on the injury report at all on Wednesday, it implies that a problem popped up at some point in the last two days. Although limiting Tate in practice on Thursday, could just be a precautionary measure by the Lions, it’s still an area to watch.
With Johnson at less than hundred percent last week, Tate picked up the slack catching eight passes for 118 yards against the Jets. Since Johnson is once again not at a hundred percent, the Lions were looking for Tate to step up again, along with the rest of receiving core. So again, Tate’s injured hamstring will be an area to watch.
Nevertheless, it isn’t all bad news for the Lions. Cornerback Cassius Vaugh (ankle) was back at practice after sitting out Wednesday. Vaughn has missed the last two games because of the injury. He was limited on Thursday but it was still a good sign that he was allowed to participate somewhat in practice.
In addition to Vaughn’s progression, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle and safety Don Carey, who practiced on Wednesday continue to be on the right track as they fully participated in practice again Thursday, making it more evident that both players should be able to suit up this Sunday.
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee) and defensive end Devin Taylor (knee) were also limited for a second straight day.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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