The Patriots have already faced DeSean Jackson and Vincent Jackson this preseason, but it’s still undecided whether they’ll have to match up against Megatron.
Calvin Johnson told The Detroit News on Tuesday he’s planning on playing Thursday night against the Patriots. Johnson played in the Lions’ first preseason game against the Jets, recording three catches for 58 yards, but missed Detroit’s second game against the Browns and the team’s last two practices with a bruised knee.
Because he has missed those two practices leading up to Thursday’s game, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz told The Oakland Press the team is still undecided whether Johnson or Louis Delmas will play or not.
“Today would be like a Friday during the regular season,’’ Schwartz said Tuesday. “Today was very similar to a Friday for him. A lot of decisions we don’t make until Saturday night before the game. We still have a lot of time and again we’ll make good decisions on both of those.”
Johnson told The Detroit News he wants to get into game shape before the season.
“We are going to be all right on offense, but my thing is getting my wind right,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a long season, but the better conditioned you are the better you are going to be in that fourth quarter.”
Bill Belichick and Kyle Arrington had high praise for Johnson on Tuesday. It appears they’re preparing to face the 6-foot-5, 236-pound matchup nightmare.
“He’s a dynamic player, very hard guy to match up against,” Belichick said about Johnson. “I don’t think you want to shade everything away from him all the time, that’s for sure, but they have a lot of weapons. That’s why they’re hard to defend.”
“They don’t make it easy, do they? No, not at all,” Arrington said. “He’s definitely the — shoot, you really have to know where he is at all times on the field. He’s one of those guys where he just, you know — speed, quickness, hands, length. So, he’s the ultimate matchup. So, it’s definitely going to be a good challenge for us this Thursday.”
Johnson might not be the only top receiver missing from Thursday’s action. Danny Amendola missed practice on Monday and Tuesday and is considered “day to day” by Belichick.