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Eagles not discussing plans for Lions WR Johnson

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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"You just have to keep a couple of people on him," he said. "You have to keep him out of the game and don't even allow him to get started. Frustrate him early."

The Lions have an idea of what the Eagles might try to do. Even though Johnson has only scored once, Detroit is moving the ball. The Lions are third in the NFL in yards and second in first downs.

"They've got great corners. I think they're a matchup kind of a defense," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "They're not just going to go out and play straight man-on-man. They're going to have guys accounting for the receivers in close coverage. I would expect more of that than any of the games we've had so far."

Stafford connected with Johnson for two TDs in each of the first four games last year and nine times in five games to lift the Lions to a 5-0 start en route to their first playoff appearance since 1999. Johnson finished with 96 catches for 1,681 yards and 16 TDs.

But with Stafford off to a slow start — he has fewer TD passes (three) than interceptions (four) — and Johnson not making big plays, it's no wonder the Lions are struggling. Johnson, though, is due for a breakout performance.

"He can run, he can jump, and he has great hands," Castillo said. "He does a great job running routes and catching the football in traffic and over the middle. The quarterback trusts him.

"Stafford will throw to him even if he is double covered."

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NOTES: The Eagles have no injuries and everyone should be ready to play vs. the Lions. ... Eagles QB Michael Vick carried a football around with him all week, even taking it to breakfast. Teammates tried to strip it away whenever they saw him holding it around the practice facility. Vick has fumbled eight times, losing five of those. "There was a bounty on the ball," he joked.

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