Detroit Lions star WR Calvin Johnson has been battling inflammation in his knee for weeks now, causing him to look like a shell of himself in Week 6. He was able to play throughout the course of the game and not suffer any reported setbacks in the process, but he was a limited participant in practice at best all week, officially listed as probable. We know he’ll play; we just don’t know how effective he is actually going to be. It remains to be seen whether he is more decoy than threat this week again.
Injury Outlook: He’s obviously not 100% right now. Inflammation in the knee (or any other joint) usually indicates that structures in the joint itself are irritated, causing an inflammatory response to whatever stresses are irritating them. This usually includes increased swelling, pain, and soft tissue hypertrophy (thickening of the tissue itself), which leads to decreased muscle function, impaired joint stability, and increased pain. Megatron relies on his physical gifts and size/speed to beat defensive backs, and he clearly is not able to rely on his God-given gifts right now. My eye is on the Lions Week 9 bye as his way to get two consecutive weeks of rest in order to give an inflamed joint just what the doctor ordered: Rest. Until then, I think you have to play him, just expect some decoy work in his future.