Allen Park — It's not much of an update, but a quick conversation between Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia and injured running back Kerryon Johnson is all we have to work with until Patricia has time to meet with the team's medical staff.
Johnson suffered a knee injury in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. It appeared to happen on a 6-yard rush with 4:46 remaining in the quarter, after tight end Jesse James landed awkwardly on his teammate.
Johnson stayed in for a couple of more plays, including pass protecting on Marvin Jones' second touchdown catch before giving way to backfield mates Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic.
"I know he met with the doctors this morning, we rolled into a team meeting, and then went into offensive and defensive meetings, so I’ll get together with them," Patricia said Monday afternoon. "I saw him, and he said he was fine, but it wasn’t really a deep conversation, as far that’s concerned. Hopefully I’ll have an update tomorrow, once I talk to the doctors."
Fine is good.
Well, maybe not. When asked for clarification, Patricia walked his initial comment back a bit.
“I mean a lot of the players tell me they’re fine when I kind of walk by casually," Patricia said. "All I’m saying is I saw him, spoke to him, he’s here and going through all of the stuff.”
Patricia did note Johnson is likely to have a follow-up with the medical staff again on Tuesday. Knowing how tight-lipped the coach prefers to be about injuries, viewing the information as a competitive advantage, we likely won't know more until the team practices on Wednesday.
According to an ESPN report posted Monday evening, Johnson is expected to miss "some time" and is considered week-to-week with the injury. If that's the case, the team will likely need to add some depth at the position.
Johnson has been a workhorse for the Lions this season, playing more than 70 percent of the offensive snaps the three games prior to Sunday's loss. He recently credited an offseason conditioning program which focused on his flexibility as the key to being able to handle the increased workload.
As a rookie last season, Johnson missed the final six game of the year with an injury to the opposite knee.