Detroit News sports writers discuss injuries, recoveries and possible plays against the Jets.
Allen Park — Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson returned to practice Friday after sitting the previous two days with an ankle injury, but he is questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.
While the Lions will determine Johnson's availability before the game, the return of strong safety James Ihedigbo is imminent.
One of the team's top free-agent signings this offseason, Ihedigbo is probable for Sunday's game after sitting the first three weeks with a nerve injury in his neck.
Ihedigbo practiced fully all three days this week.
"I feel great," he said Friday. "In terms of practice, it felt awesome. I was really flying around all week. I really wanted to push myself because to be in game condition you have to be able to go and run all day."
While there was a chance LaAdrian Waddle (calf) could play for the first time since Week 1, he's doubtful after being limited in all three practices. He took about half the first-team reps in practice Friday, but the Lions want to avoid any setbacks as he's clearly their best option at right tackle.
"As the week went on, I slowly did a little more and a little more," Waddle said. "I felt pretty good."
Linebacker Travis Lewis (quad), cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle) and tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle) are all out. Defensive back Don Carey (hamstring) is doubtful, and running back Montell Owens (hamstring) is questionable.
Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (knee), running back Joique Bell (knee), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (biceps), defensive end George Johnson (groin) and running back Theo Riddick (hamstring) are all probable. Riddick was a Friday addition, being limited after participating fully Wednesday and Thursday.
If Waddle can't play, the Lions will choose between Garrett Reynolds and Cornelius Lucas at right tackle. Although Reynolds started the past two games, Lucas played in the final offensive series that sealed a win over the Green Bay Packers last week.
At strong safety, Isa Abdul-Quddus started for Ihedigbo the first three games, but the Lions will benefit from Ihedigbo's hard-hitting style against the run-heavy Jets. Ihedigbo said he's not worried about suffering a setback because of how cautious the team has been.
"I'm excited just to go out and play with these guys," he said. "They're playing at such a high level, and watching them has been a blast. Just to get on the field with them and officially be a part of it will be fun."