Lions notes: WR Johnson has sprained thumb

The Lions are officially calling WR Calvin Johnson’s right thumb injury a sprain, but it was enough to keep him from participating in full drills Tuesday at training camp.

Johnson took part in some drills and did significant running, according to coach Jim Schwartz, but was held out of drills that involved catching the ball. Schwartz told reporters that Johnson will continue in this routine until it has been decided that he can’t further aggravate the injury.

“He’s been tested about every way that you can test,” Schwartz said. “We’re very comfortable where he is. It’s a sprain. He’s going to get back as soon as he can, but that being said, we don’t want to turn it into an aggravated issue, and that’s why were handling it the way we are.”

Here are some other notes from Lions camp:

  • Schwartz has decided who will start the preseason opener at quarterback, but he hasn’t told the players and won’t announce it until later this week, saying “I mean here’s what I don’t want: I don’t want them concentrating on Atlanta yet. We have too much work to do out here.” Schwartz also hasn’t decided on how he’ll split the reps between Daunte Culpepper, rookie Matthew Stafford and Drew Stanton, but he anticipates changing their order of appearance in different preseason games in order to get a better evaluation with different personnel groups.
  • DT Shaun Smith, who signed with the Lions yesterday, participated in his first practice with the team and talked with reporters Tuesday. Smith said five or six teams contacted his agent, but it was former Cleveland Browns teammate Shaun Rogers — the former Lion — who helped him decide on Detroit.
  • Schwartz spoke about the signing of Smith, saying the lineman’s size fits his scheme. Schwartz said he would like Smith, who will pair with 345-pound Grady Jackson, to play somewhere between his current weight of 318 pounds and the 350 pounds he played at last season in Cleveland. “I want you at the heaviest you can weigh that you can play the fastest,” Schwartz noted about his defensive linemen. “Anytime that weight slows you down, then we don’t need to weigh anymore. But we are going to be as heavy as we can and be as fast as long as you’re still moving well.”
  • The Associated Press noted in its Tuesday report that starting safety Daniel Bullocks (knee) is expected to be shut down for a few days. Two rookies — safety Louis Delmas (knee) and TE Brandon Pettigrew (thigh) — are slowly being worked back into practice.
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