This season, he’s had to.
Receivers Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles have all been put on injured reserve. Kris Durham got his first NFL start in last Sunday’s game at Green Bay and the other lackluster options were Mike Thomas, Brian Robiskie, Lance Long and Kassim Osgood.
“Calvin has picked up a lot of slack,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “We’ve played him at a lot of different positions and I don’t think he gets credit for how versatile he is. He plays probably three or four positions. It’s even real common for him to do that even within a drive.”
Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson doesn’t sound worried. Peterson said he hopes to cover Johnson one on one as much as possible in a challenge he’s been looking forward to since the NFL schedule was released.
“It’s definitely going to be a fun matchup and a matchup I’ve been waiting for pretty much all year,” Peterson said. “I want to see how I match up against one of the top guys in the league.”
Peterson ranked Johnson as the second-best receiver in the NFL, behind Fitzgerald, and boasted that he’s the best cornerback in the NFL.
“Me and Calvin, we’re the same caliber players, just he’s a receiver and I’m a DB,” he said. “He likes the physical aspect of the game and, you know, that’s something I like to do as well. I’m going to challenge him at the line.”
NOTES: Lions DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) and TE Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) didn’t practice Thursday after both were injured against the Packers. … CB Louis Delmas (knee), CB Chris Houston (hamstring) and CB Jacob Lacey (foot) were limited in practice after being held out of Wednesday’s workout because of injuries.
AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Tempe, Ariz., contributed to this report.
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