Calvin Johnson Injury: How Star WR's Absence Will Impact Lions
Johnson's inactive status for Sunday (per Adam Schefter of ESPN) will be a huge blow to the Lions passing attack headed by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson OUT.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 6, 2013
Of course, replacing Johnson's production and talent will be impossible to do. Johnson is the team's leader in receptions (21), targets (40), yards (312) and receiving touchdowns (four).
Johnson is also the kind of elite receiver who demands extra attention from opposing defenses. Now that he won't be on the field, the Packers secondary can spread its focus all across the field, thus there will be less room for the Lions other receivers to work with.
Such a loss will force Detroit's other players to step up with Nate Burleson being sidelined as well. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew has been non-existent this season, so that's one name that comes to mind.
Also, running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell must make a bigger impact out of the backfield both on the ground and through the air. Both backs are No. 3 and No. 4 on the team in receiving yards, so they should be able to help pick up the slack.
But if the Lions passing game suffers without Johnson, the Packers will be able to stack the box in order to focus on stopping the run and that could lead to a long day for the Lions offense as a whole.
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