Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE DYE  |  Last updated 10/9/13
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Just like they did last week, the Detroit Lions are preparing as if star receiver Calvin Johnson wont play Sunday at Cleveland. Thats what we have to do, running back Reggie Bush said following Wednesdays practice. He didnt practice today. We have to prepare as if hes not going to play. Johnson injured his right knee during the Lions victory over Chicago on Sept. 29. He missed practices last Wednesday and Thursday before returning on a limited basis on Friday. The club listed him as questionable on the official injury report, but the decision was made to keep him out after Johnson struggled with the knee while going through a workout on the field before the game. Detroits offense came to a screeching halt in a 22-9 loss at Green Bay. The Lions had averaged 30.5 points in their first four games with Johnson in the lineup. His presence forces defenses to focus heavily on him while opening things up for others like Bush. Its hard to replace a guy like that and what he brings to the game, Bush said. Youre missing such a big threat out there. We had prepared all week as if he wasnt going to play. We knew what was at stake. When youre missing a guy like Calvin, we all have to do a little bit more. We didnt get it done. If Johnson can't go again, theyll get another chance to prove they can move the ball and win without him against Cleveland. The Browns have won three straight, largely because of strong defensive performances. The best thing we can do is not let one loss turn into two losses, Bush said. Our sense of urgency has to go up as an offense. After Johnson missed Wednesdays practice, coach Jim Schwartz indicated that his availability could come down to a game-day decision again. Hes doing a little bit better every day, Schwartz said. He got out on the practice field a little bit last week but wasnt able to go. Last year he dealt with a lot of things and was able to be productive on Sunday. We probably wont make that determination (if Johnson will play) until late in the week, whether he gets back on the practice field (Thursday or Friday) or not. The determination may not even come until Sunday. Well just have to see how it goes. But hes improving. EXTRA POINTS --- Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said he hasnt heard from the league concerning his tripping penalty against Green Bay. I wouldnt say it was a tripping play, Suh said of the play in which he clearly tripped quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I was more or less reaching out and trying to grab him (while) being held. "Its part of the game. I got to find a better way to get off offensive linemen and make the play. Suh said he also still hasn't heard the outcome on his appeal of a 100,000 fine for an illegal block earlier in the season. --- Suh was amused when he found out he was the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit last weekend. I think everything is big time if youre making Saturday Night Live, Suh said. They cover a lot of spaces. Friends have told me about it, but I havent seen it so I have no clue. Asked if he ever would like to host the show, Suh answered, No. You should know me. I dont like being in the medias eye. Once Im done playing football, Im sitting quiet in some back woods. That from a guy who has appeared on both a dating and diving reality TV show. --- Receiver Nate Burleson, out with a broken left arm following a car accident, was back on the practice field Wednesday going through some individual drills while catching tennis balls with his right hand. Working with the hand-eye coordination, said Burleson, who was wearing a soft cast on his left arm during the workout after the hard cast was removed Tuesday. If Im sitting inside here, I dont feel good. "Just getting out there, moving around, it gives me a little bit more excitement and enthusiasm. It helps me deal with the insanity of sitting out. Burleson wouldnt pinpoint a return date, but theres been speculation that it could be Nov. 10 at Chicago following the teams bye week. He said hes hoping for sooner than that. If it was up to me, Burleson said, Id be suiting up this week and putting a brace around it.
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