We appear to have a full-fledged beef between Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.
Johnson talked to reporters for the first time since Sherman said he planned on approaching his anticipated match-up with the talented playmaker just like any other receiver.
Sherman also changed his twitter handle to Optimus Prime, the nemesis of Calvin Johnson’s nickname, Megaton, in the cartoon Transformers.
“A self-given nickname?” Johnson told MLive.com “That’s who he wants to be. That’s cool.”
Johnson is apparently using Sherman’s comments and actions as fuel for the game this weekend.
“I can definitely use it as motivation, no doubt about it,” he said.
Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will be tasked with figuring out how to stop Johnson.
“We’re so aware of the deep ball, the explosive plays with him,” Bradley said. “And It’s not like it happens on third and 4, third and 5. On first and 10, the first play of the game you’re seeing them take shots. So I think it’s important that our safeties – we always say, ‘When you’re back, you’re back.’ So don’t come up there sniffing out the run, on some of the run plays.
“So I think those principles the we really preach during all during minicamps and OTAs are really going to come to life this weekend.”
On the injury front for Seattle, receiver Doug Baldwin officially has been ruled out for this Sunday’s game because of a high-ankle sprain.
Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day.
Offensive lineman John Moffitt (knee) was limited for a second straight day. And running back Marshawn Lynch (back) was a full participant for a second straight day.
For Detroit, four defensive players — defensive end Cliff Avril (back), cornerback Jacob Lacey (concussion), linebacker DeAndre Levy (hamstring) and safety Amari Spievey (concussion) — did not practice for a second straight day.
Cornerback Dwight Bentley (shoulder), safety Louis Delmas (knee), tight end Brandon Pettigrew, linebacker Stephen Tulloch (knee), defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee), receiver Titus Young (knee) and receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) were limited participants in practice today.