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Lions' Johnson wishes he sacked Bridgewater, too

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson wants to get in on the fun the defense appear to be having.

Allen Park — Seven different Lions players had at least a half sack in Sunday's win over the Vikings, and at least one offensive player wishes he could've contributed.

Calvin Johnson, the Lions' star receiver who missed the game with an ankle injury, said he wanted a chance to take down rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, too.

"Awesome," Johnson said of what it was like watching the eight-sack performance. "I want to get out there and play some D-end and get a sack."

Johnson was so excited he even mentioned his desire to play defense to second-year defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who led the Lions with 2½ sacks but missed some plays with a toe injury.

"I told Ziggy, man, when his toe was hurting last week, 'Let me get out there. I'll take a couple reps for you,'" Johnson said.

During his career, Johnson has played a little defense, filling in as a deep safety in prevent defense for some late-game situations.

Coach Jim Caldwell thinks Johnson could play outside linebacker or either safety position but wouldn't be surprised if he excelled on the defensive line.

"We're talking about Superman," Caldwell said. "I can't imagine that there's not several that he could actually manage and do extremely well. … He could do quite a few things."

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh isn't quite convinced, though, that Johnson could — or should — line up with the Lions' front four.

"I don't want Calvin on the defensive line," Suh said. "I don't know if he's ready for that, but he's definitely a talented guy. And I think he, without question, can play defense as I think I can go on the offensive side and play a little guard as I did in my younger days."

Suh did say that it's exciting to receive that kind of praise from Johnson, and he thinks Johnson wants to join the other side because of how much fun the defense is having.

The Lions rank first in the NFL in yards allowed per game (270.7) and points allowed per game (13.7).