Schwartz: 'We're trying to win'
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Calvin Johnson struggled to simply walk out of Ford Field.
The Detroit Lions receiver left the locker room and hobbled in a hallway, then could not bend his right knee as he went up stairs.
The good news, though, for Detroit is that its best player is not as hurt as he appeared to be after missing much of Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said Monday he would not label Johnson's injury as significant, adding the team will know more Wednesday.
The Lions did lose a key player though, putting cornerback Eric King on injured reserve with an injured left shoulder.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford did not play against Pittsburgh after hurting his right knee the previous week and Schwartz would not speculate on his status for Sunday's game at Green Bay. If Stafford is healthy, Schwartz said he is the clear-cut starter over Daunte Culpepper.
Schwartz insisted he would not consider the upcoming bye when deciding whether Stafford would play the Packers.
"We'll see where he is and see how he's trending," Schwartz said. "If he's trending up and he's improving and we can get him snaps, then we have a good chance to get him on the field. If not, then we won't.
"That has nothing to do with an eye toward the bye week and we can get him an extra week of rest or anything else. Our objective is to win this game. We have to win this game."
After traveling to face the Packers as two-touchdown underdogs, Detroit has a bye before likely being a favorite to beat the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 1 at home.
Detroit had a closely contested game with the defending champion Steelers and was competitive at times in two of its other three losses.
Schwartz sees progress, but results have made it relatively moot.
"You don't need to play well; you don't need to have a chance at the end; you don't need to overcome adversity and all that other stuff," he said. "You need to win games and we're not there yet. We still have a lot of work to do."
Center Dominic Raiola agrees and yet is encouraged about how much better the Lions are than they were last year as the NFL's first 0-16 team.
"It's totally different, I know that," Raiola said. "If you can't see that just by watching, I don't know what you're watching."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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