Calvin Johnson wants to play; Caldwell undecided

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Calvin Johnson

Allen Park — Out of the four preseason games in 2014, Calvin Johnson only played the third one, which is effectively a dress rehearsal for starters.

Coach Jim Caldwell, though, said Monday not to assume Johnson would play on Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Not necessarily," he said when asked if Johnson would join the team after sitting the first two exhibitions. "We'll just kind of see where he is. He's doing great, so we'll see."

Meanwhile, Johnson hopes to have a chance to test his skills at some point this preseason.

"Of course," he said about if he wants to play in the meaningless games. "Need that."

Johnson actually played just one preseason game in 2013, the first one, before taking it easy again last year.

And even though Johnson wants to play, fellow receiver Golden Tate agrees with the cautious approach the Lions took the past two weeks.

"I think we're doing the right thing by protecting him," Tate said. "We know what he can do; we know he's the best player in the world right now. He doesn't have anything to prove, I don't think personally."