Stevie Johnson 'tough call' to play this week, fantasy owners should make other plans

Andy Lyons

Stevie Johnson has a lower back injury and missed most of practice this week for personal reasons, making him a long shot to suit up on Sunday. We break down the fantasy implications.

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone says that it will be a "tough call" as to whether wide receiver Stevie Johnson will play in Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Johnson missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to a death in the family. He flew to California to attend a funeral and is not expected to be back in time for Friday's practice. On top of that, he's dealing with a lower back ailment suffered in last week's loss to the Cleveland Browns. Johnson has 20 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns on the season.

Fantasy impact: With almost no time to get ready for the team's gameplan against Cincinnati, Johnson may end up getting the week off to let his back rest. That would end his streak of 53 straight games starting. Even if he does end up playing, he's going to be a very poor fantasy option with Thaddeus Lewis at quarterback against Cincinnati's defense. Fantasy owners should look for better WR3 options this week. Johnson and Robert Woods are going to be iffy plays for several weeks until E.J. Manuel comes back.

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