Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell announced today that he expects Calvin Johnson to play some this week against Jacksonville. It will be his first game action of the year and likely will be a short stint. Caldwell stated that he expects the starters to play the first half of the game, but he acknowledged that Johnson will play less than the rest of the starters. Johnson is recovering from surgery to repair broken fingers.
Caldwell also made an early declaration regarding the status of defensive tackle and former first round pick Nick Fairley. Fairley, who has been battling weight control issues this offseason, was working last week with the second team and played in the game against Oakland with the second team. Caldwell, likely in an attempt to motivate Fairley to play better, announced that Fairley is still with the second team until further notice. Given how slow Fairley has been to improve this offseason, it is likely that he starts the season on the second team.
Ezekiel Ansah is likely to miss this week’s game against Jacksonville as he is still on the PUP list. Ansah would likely need a full week of practice before seeing game action. While it is still possible that he plays this week, coach Caldwell did not seem interested in speculating his availability leaving me to believe he will sit out another week.
Rookie wide receiver TJ Jones, who is also still on the PUP list, would have a better chance to see the field than Ansah if he gets off of the PUP list this week. Given that he is still dealing with a shoulder issue though, I would expect him to stay on PUP leading into the regular season.