Things just keep going from bad to worse for the Buffalo Bills on a weekly basis. The latest setback came against the Houston Texans in Week 9, when the Bills looked lifeless in a 21-9 defeat and lost wide receiver Stevie Johnson to a thigh injury.
Head coach Chan Gailey told reporters (via Bills.com) after the game that Johnson "kept trying it but in the end he just couldn’t go.”
The news coming out of Buffalo after that press conference is not exactly inspiring. According to Bills Daily, this is going to be a big week of practice and treatment will determine his status for Week 10 against New England.
Aaron Williams to have MRI today. Johnson's thigh bruise could be problematic this week.— Bills Daily (@billsdaily) November 5, 2012
Naturally, fantasy owners everywhere are panicking, even though Johnson is on pace to have his worst season since 2009. He has just 35 catches for 416 yards and four touchdowns through eight games.
This looks and sounds like one of those nagging injuries that doesn't fully hit you until a day or two after the fact. That is evidenced by the fact that Johnson was able to go back in the game, though he was largely ineffective.
So what are you to do with Johnson while you wait for updates on his status for this week's game?
The short answer is nothing. Keep him wherever he is on your team. If he is in the starting lineup, or on the bench, keep him there. He has some value because he is going to catch touchdown passes—for all his problems, he is still on pace to have eight touchdown catches.
Given that the Patriots rank 28th in the NFL against the pass, Johnson could be in line for his first 100-yard game of the season, though the last time these two teams played, he only had two receptions for 23 yards.
Johnson has proven to be durable, playing in every game for the last three seasons. He takes the field at kickoff every week. This is not a debilitating injury, by any means. Until Gailey actually says the words "Johnson won't play," I would fully expect him to be out there.