Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson offers assistance on catch rule

By The Sports Xchange
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. UPI/Art Foxall
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. UPI/Art Foxall | License Photo

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson said he's willing to help the NFL after commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was forming a committee of football experts to re-examine the process-of-the-catch rule.

"Definitely. If somebody asked me, I'll definitely give them my input, yeah," Johnson said Wednesday.


Johnson said it shouldn't be as hard as it is to tell what is or isn't a catch.

"It's almost common sense," he said. "If a guy catches the ball (and) tucks it away, or if he's just controlling it through movement, whether he hits the ground and the ball's controlled.

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"They say you got to take a couple steps. I kind of agree with that, but at the same time, there's some times when it's a gray line and it's almost common sense a lot of those ones that they might fix."

--The Lions will play against defensive tackle Nick Fairley, their No. 1 pick in 2011, for the first time on Sunday when the face the St. Louis Rams.


Fairley said he has no ill feelings toward the Lions despite leaving in free agency last March.

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"Couldn't call it," Fairley said Wednesday when asked why he's no longer in Detroit. "That's the business part of the game. It just happened that way, and we just had to pick it up and move on."

Fairley was inconsistent during his four years with the Lions. The team declined to pick up the $5.5 million option for 2015 on his rookie deal and now he's a backup for the Rams.

"Nick is a fine player, and every year is a little bit different and we make adjustments accordingly," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "That was last year; we're now in this year. We're a ways off from that.

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"But he's doing well where he is, and I think we have guys who are working well for us."

--Lions kicker Matt Prater played through an illness last Thursday and described Monday just how bad it was.

After skipping meetings and practice Monday, he woke up with a 101.9-degree fever, and his wife told him to go to the hospital.


As Prater dealt with a virus and sinus infection, the Lions prepared a backup plan as they worked out kickers in case they needed to sign one before the 4 p.m. deadline with the night game. According to multiple reports, Kyle Brindza, Billy Cundiff and Garrett Hartley visited Allen Park last Thursday.

"Good enough to kick," Prater said. "It's not like I'm out there trying to push people around or do anything too physical. I was just kicking, and luckily they went straight."

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