If you are a wide receiver in the NFL and your last name is Johnson, you are probably dealing with some sort of injury entering Week 6. Here’s the latest information on whether Calvin, Andre or Stevie will play today, as well as two other guys not named Johnson.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns
Johnson was a late surprise scratch last week after it was revealed he was dealing with a knee injury. This week, reports came out that he is experiencing swelling in the knee, which limited his practice time. He did participate on Thursday and Friday, but did so with a brace on his right knee. Johnson’s official designation is Questionable and he is expected to be a game-time decision. Because of what happened last week, caution is certainly merited here. Megatron is one of the best in the business and probably doesn’t need to be 100 percent to contribute to your lineup. Matthew Stafford sure missed his No. 1 target last week against Green Bay. That said, monitor Johnson’s status carefully up until kickoff (1 p.m. ET) and be prepared to act accordingly.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams
Johnson is still dealing with his shin injury, but it has yet to keep him off of the field. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak did say his All-Pro wideout would probably be a game-time decision, so Johnson’s Questionable designation shouldn’t be taken lightly. I suppose there’s a chance the team could decide to give him a rest if he appears limited or favoring that leg in warm ups, especially given the matchup against a Rams’ defense that is allowing more than 120 yards rushing. There’s also the matter of quarterback Matt Schaub’s accuracy/interception issues right now. Even when he’s less than 100 percent, Johnson usually produces, but it may be best to wait as long as possible before plugging him into your lineup for this one, especially if you have another legitimate option.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Johnson was excused from practice due to a death in his family earlier in the week, but he also is dealing with a back issue. He is listed as Questionable and is probably going to be a game-time decision. When it comes to Johnson, however, the real question mark revolves around Thad Lewis, who has been elevated from the practice squad to the starter following EJ Manuel’s knee injury last week. Lewis has started an NFL game before, but there’s a reason he was on the Bills’ practice squad too. The Bengals held Tom Brady and the Patriots to six points last week, so let the Bills’ coaches worry about Johnson’s status for their game. As far as his fantasy status is concerned, Johnson can enjoy the view from the bench this week.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Buccaneers are coming off of a bye, yet Williams is listed as Questionable for today’s game because of a hamstring injury. That’s not a great sign considering the extra rest he should have gotten last week. Williams is the Bucs’ No. 2 wide receiver, but with rookie Mike Glennon making just his second career start, expectations should be limited. Tampa Bay’s offense has a good matchup against Philadelphia, and Williams did catch a TD from Glennon two weeks ago. Still, Williams is clearly not at 100 percent and could end up not playing at all. The safest course of action for this week regarding Williams probably would be to look elsewhere to fill out your receiving corps.
Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Avery is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he is Probable to play today and the Chiefs are fully expecting him to be out there. Avery is the team’s leading receiver thus far, with 16 catches for 304 yards and a touchdown. Dwayne Bowe probably offers more upside, but quarterback Alex Smith seems to prefer Avery, who merits WR3 consideration.