Calvin Johnson wasn't on a snap-count per se against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but the Detroit Lions coaching staff exercised caution with their star receiver. Megatron was mindful himself, but the coaches pulled him for 12 of 72 offensive snaps in the Lions' 31-14 victory. Johnson usually plays every snap.
"We tried to get him out on some," coach Jim Schwartz told MLive.com. "If he ran deep on one play, we sort of pulled him out on another. Then, most of that last drive, he wasn't in there. We were running the ball just about every down.
"Late in the game, we took him off the hands team. It was three scores with 50 seconds left or something like that, there's no sense of exposing him to another hit if at all preventable."
Johnson finished with seven receptions for 129 yards. He was a game-time decision and played with a heavily wrapped left knee.
Megatron has reached the status where he doesn't need to practice if injuries are an issue. The smart move is to let him save up for gameday. He doesn't need to refine his route-running during the middle of the week.
The fact he missed only 12 snaps and a hands-team appearance is a credit to Johnson. Not everyone would have played through the pain. And not everyone could have played as well as he did with zero practice snaps.