Lions' Calvin Johnson out again with ankle injury

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson will miss his third straight game with a high ankle sprain.


— For the first time in his career, Calvin Johnson will miss three straight games.

The Lions' All-Pro wide receiver is inactive for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons as he continues to recover from a high-ankle sprain.

Johnson, who was listed as questionable before the game, will watch the game against his hometown team, the Falcons, against whom he broke Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yardage record in 2012. He'll also miss an opportunity to showcase his skills on an international stage at Wembley Stadium.

In addition to Johnson, starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (concussion), running back Reggie Bush (ankle) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew are also out. Waddle suffered the brain injury last week against the New Orleans Saints, but after being a full participant in practice Friday, there was a good chance he'd be cleared to play.

Instead, Garrett Reynolds will start at right tackle with rookie Cornelius Lucas as his backup. Waddle also missed three games earlier this season with a calf injury, and the Lions went 1-2 without him.

Bush (ankle) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (foot) are inactive after both being listed as doubtful. Without Bush, the Lions will lean heavily on Joique Bell, the starter, and Theo Riddick.

Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Joseph Fauria (ankle) had already been ruled out, so with Pettigrew inactive, the team will be without their top three tight ends. Jordan Thompson, who made his NFL debut last week, will fill the receiving role, and Kellen Davis, whom the Lions signed Monday, will serve as the primary blocker. Davis, a seven-year veteran, is listed as the starter in his 2014 debut.

Quarterback Kellen Moore is the only healthy scratch for the Lions.

Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley will also be out after the Lions suspended him Saturday for this game and the bye week for conduct detrimental to the team. With him out, rookie fifth-round pick Caraun Reid will have an expanded role as the top backup to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, and defensive end Jason Jones could play on the interior.

For the Falcons, starting defensive end Jonathan Babineaux is out and will be replaced by Jonathan Massaquoi. Cornerback Javier Arenas, wide receiver Freddie Martino, linebacker Tyler Starr and offensive tackles Jonathan Scott and Cameron Bradfield are inactive, too.