Lions’ C.J. Mosley starts ahead of Nick Fairley as Calvin Johnson sits out vs. Raiders

By Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Oakland, Calif. — Lions coach Jim Caldwell defensively said not to read into Nick Fairley’s demotion during practice this week, but he’s officially in the doghouse.

C.J. Mosley will start in Fairley’s place at defensive tackle in tonight's exhibition against the Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum. Mosley has been running with the first-team defense all week instead of Fairley, who appears to have added weight since reporting to training camp at 305 pounds.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is among the Lions’ inactives for the second week in a row. The Lions have been taking precautions to ensure Johnson’s long-term health after he underwent knee and finger surgeries this offseason. The Raiders’ field has the dirt from the Athletics’ baseball field running through the middle, so it makes sense to hold Johnson out again.

Kris Durham will start for Johnson as he did in last week's exhibition against the Cleveland Browns.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who returned from the physically unable to perform list this week, is also inactive. Rookie wide receiver TJ Jones, who remains on PUP with a shoulder injury, is the only other inactive player for the Lions.

Elsewhere in the starting lineup, the Lions are taking a look at their depth at defensive end. George Johnson, who’s had an impressive camp, will start for Ansah, and Devin Taylor will start for Jason Jones.

For the Raiders, cornerbacks DJ Hayden, Neiko Thorpe and Chimdi Chekwa, safeties Usama Young and Brandian Ross, guard Lucas Nix, defensive tackle Justin Ellis, and tight ends David Ausberry and Nick Kasa were inactive.