Star receiver expects to play vs. team that roughed him up

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Calvin Johnson didn’t practice for the Lions on Thursday – and that’s a report Detroit fans might need to get used to.

Doesn’t mean he’ll be any less of an asset Sunday.

“Calvin at any percent ... is a bonus for me or anybody else,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said.

The former Georgia Tech star toughed out Detroit’s 31-14 victory over Jacksonville last weekend, catching seven passes for 129 yards after getting a pain-killing shot in his left knee.

He is still banged up, but even if his practice time remains limited, he’s a big part of the Lions’ offense.

Up next is a trip to Minnesota. The Vikings beat Detroit on Sept. 30, knocking Johnson around in the process. He was hit in the head and neck area by Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway.

Although he says he’s feeling better now, there were some lasting effects from those collisions.

“Actually had some nerve damage,” Johnson said.

Now it’s the knee that’s a concern.

“It’s coming along. Definitely feels better than it was at this point last week,” Johnson said. “I’ve just been doing a lot of stuff in weight room, just to strengthen the muscle around it.”

BENGALS: Receiver A.J. Green was on the New York Giants’ radar long before opening his mouth.

The NFL’s co-leader in touchdown receptions, Green created some controversy for Sunday’s game in a radio interview with WFAN in New York City, saying there are areas to exploit in the Giants’ defense.

“I feel like they’ve got a lot of holes in their defense,” Green said.

Safety Antrel Rolle was reluctant to verbally strike back at Green.

“I’ll let my pads do the talking on Sunday. That’s how I approach the game,” Rolle said. “That’s how we approach the game, and if he sees me, he better duck.”

DOWN AND DIRTY: For the second consecutive year, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been voted the NFL’s dirtiest player in a poll of players by the Sporting News.

Suh received 32 votes in the poll that included 103 players. Last year, Suh got 36 votes in the poll that reached 111 players.


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