Lions inactives for Rams game
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said all week that his two injured stars, WR Calvin Johnson and QB Matthew Stafford, were game-time decisions to play today against the Rams.
One hour before game time, and we now know that Stafford is at least active for the game, while Johnson (knee) is not. Dennis Northcutt will start opposite Bryant Johnson at wide receiver, as the Lions will be without their biggest receiving threat for the majority of a third straight game. Drew Stanton is the third quarterback for the contest, meaning that — barring a last-minute reversal — Stafford will start for the first time since his knee injury nearly a month ago (Oct. 4).
In other lineup changes, free-agent tackle acquisition Jon Jansen will indeed get a chance to settle the revolving door at left guard, starting in place of the rotation of Daniel Loper and Manny Ramirez, both of whom are inactive for the game. Terrelle Smith will start at fullback in place of Jerome Felton, who is inactive, as well.
On defense, Cliff Avril returns to the starting lineup at left end, replacing Jason Hunter, who is out with a high-ankle sprain. Ko Simpson is back in the starting lineup at strong safety, as well, while corner Anthony Henry did not dress for the game.