Chances ‘slim’ Lions’ Calvin Johnson plays vs. Bills

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Calvin Johnson likely will sit the Lions’ final exhibition game when they host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday at Ford Field.

“There’s a possibility (he’ll play), but the chances are slim,” coach Jim Caldwell said Monday.

Caldwell has used similar phrasing when asked about Johnson previously this preseason, and the former All-Pro receiver did not appear in any of the first three contests, though he is healthy.

Johnson played just one exhibition in 2014, but this likely will be the first time in his nine-year career that he doesn’t make an appearance in the preseason.

Caldwell also provided the same answer when asked if right tackle LaAdrian Waddle or defensive end Jason Jones would play, so it’d be a surprise to see either of them make their exhibition debut after being activated from the physically unable to perform list last Sunday.

Joique Bell and Haloti Ngata, who were activated from PUP and the non-football injury list Monday, respectively, will surely sit, too.

Last year, starters including Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate, Brandon Pettigrew, Rashean Mathis and James Ihedigbo were inactive for the final exhibition. Caldwell would not commit to which starters would play Thursday.

“That all depends,” he said. “Some of them perhaps will, but it just kind of depends on the situation. We let that kind of play itself out and make our decision on game day.”