Lions are 'wait and see' on Calvin Johnson, others

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions coach Jim Caldwell was non-committal Monday on the availability of three of his top offensive playmakers for Sunday's matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush both missed the Week 6 win over the Minnesota Vikings with ankle injuries. Bush said after the game he'll "for sure" be back, but Johnson's high-ankle sprain could hold him out longer.

Running back Theo Riddick, who had five catches for a game-high 75 yards and a touchdown Sunday, missed the second half after aggravating a hamstring injury that kept him out in Week 5.

"We'll have to wait and see. All three guys are coming along and improving rapidly, so we'll see where we are," Caldwell said.

Johnson's injury remains the biggest concern for the Lions, and they could give him extra time to recover so he's healthy for the second half of the season. After the Lions play the Saints, they travel to London to play the Atlanta Falcons and then the team is idle in Week 9.

If Johnson sits the next two games, he would have more than a month of recovery time since last week's loss against the Buffalo Bills and the Week 10 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Caldwell, though, didn't say whether shutting down Johnson the next two games is under consideration.

"I leave it up to the doctors," he said. "They know exactly what it takes, what can be done, them in conjunction with how he feels. They treat not only the symptoms and the situation, but also the patient as well in terms of what he feels. So, they'll let us know what's the best avenue to take."

Without Johnson and Bush Sunday, the Lions gained just 255 yards against the Vikings, but won 17-3 thanks to an eight-sack performance by the NFL's top-ranked defense.