Oct 23, 2014 9:57 AM

Johnson still a doubt for Lions game in London

The Associated Press

BAGSHOT, England (AP) Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is still a doubt for Detroit's game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in London.

Johnson has missed the last two games, both wins, for the Lions (5-2) with a right ankle injury. He made the trip to England, but said Thursday there was still no decision on whether he would play this weekend.

"It gets better and better. Like, right now it's getting better on a daily basis," Johnson said. "We haven't pushed it too much. We don't want to push it to that point where we get a setback.

"I want to push it, but we're trying to be smart about it."

Johnson, known as Megatron, is one of the most popular players in the NFL and one of the figures that could help sell the league to an overseas audience. But with a bye week coming up, Johnson could sit out Sunday's game and get an extra week of recovery before the Lions play the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 9.

Johnson aggravated his ankle injury in the first minute of the third quarter in the loss to Buffalo while reaching down to make a 7-yard catch.

He missed wins at Minnesota and over New Orleans the last two weeks, but he has been taking part in limited practice in England.

"He did what the doctors allowed him to do," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "The most important thing is what they feel like the following day, and today he came back feeling good, so that's encouraging.

"It's still just kind of the protocol of the physicians. They'll ramp him up a bit more today and see how he looks tomorrow and go from there."

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who engineered another game-winning drive last weekend in the 24-23 comeback win over the New Orleans Saints, will certainly be hoping Johnson gets back soon.

"He's open even when he's covered, in certain instances," Stafford said. "Anytime you get him on the field, your chances and percentages of having big plays are going to go up."


Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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