Johnson’s cast causes fantasy owner to break thumb

Lions WR Calvin Johnson was spotted at Monday practice wearing a cast. (Duane Burleson / Associated Press)

Lions WR Calvin Johnson tied for the NFL lead with 12 receiving TDs last season. (Duane Burleson / Associated Press)

Lions WR Calvin Johnson was spotted wearing a cast during Lions practice on Monday. I almost broke my own thumb when I saw that news, which the Associated Press had buried in a story about Lions DE Jared DeVries – like who plays in IDP leagues anyway?

The move was a precautionary one after Johnson jammed his thumb during practice. Is there any way to wrap him in Lucite until the season starts? This is serious.

For fantasy owners, the move is compounded by the news that St. Louis WR Donnie Avery is out 4-6 weeks with a stress fracture in his foot.

These may seem like unrelated events, except that these are two of my starting receivers in NFL.com’s magazine draft. A league with NFL.com’s top fantasy gurus.

And Jamie Dukes.

While we have to do this draft prior to the launch of the NFL.com fantasy magazine, let this be a cautionary tale about doing your fantasy draft too early — especially not in March.

Johnson’s injury does not seem like too big of a deal. Or at least the Lions are playing the injury down. And thankfully, NFL teams would never send misinformation about injuries. If the injury is more serious, expect to see me filming more fantasy videos with a cast on my hand.

Avery’s injury is more disconcerting for me, because he was on the verge of having a big season as the No. 1 target in St. Louis. He still could be, because the team’s alternatives are Keenan Burton, Laurent Robinson and Derek Stanley. And also keep an eye on RB Steven Jackson. With Avery out, St. Louis will likely run the ball more, meaning Jackson’s annual injury could come a lot sooner than expected.

Adam Rank

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