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Spotlight on: WR Stevie Johnson

Johnson
Stevie Johnson is expected to return to the Bills' lineup Sunday. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News file photo)

By Jay Skurski

Stevie Johnson's last three games with the Buffalo Bills have been his least productive since becoming a starter in 2010.

Johnson has just three catches for 18 yards in the past three games, the last of which he missed because of a back injury, ending a streak of 48 straight starts. Take that game out, and Johnson's output in Week Four and Five is still the lowest of his career -- he had four catches for yards in Weeks 10 and 11 of the 2011 season.

It stands to reason, then, that Johnson is anxious to get out on the field Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

"It's the hand that we were dealt with this situation with injuries," he said. "It's hard, but we have to find a way to get through it.

Johnson did that by participating fully in the final two practices of the week.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "We just have to win. It's another big one for us."

Johnson has not had great success against the Dolphins in his career. He has only one career touchdown against Miami, and has never had more than 80 receiving yards in a game. He'll also be playing with quarterback Thad Lewis for the first time.

"It was good, everything was pretty much in stride," Johnson said of working with Lewis in practice. "We know it is another level when you get on the field on Sundays but this is where it starts. This is my first time working with him in the reps and it was good so far.

"I'm not worried about any miscommunication between me and Thad."

Johnson's absence was noticeable las Sunday against Cincinnati. His ability to work the middle of the field is an element of the offense the Bills weren't able to replace.  Miami's best nickel cornerback is Dimitri Patterson, but he's questionable for the game because of a groin injury. If Patterson isn't able to go, or is at less than 100 percent, it could be a big advantage for Johnson and the Bills.

tagged

Stevie Johnson | Thad Lewis
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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