By Ashley Scoby

With roster cuts coming up, the Lions should have plenty of time to evaluate fringe players in this week’s preseason game against the Jaguars. Several regular-season starters won’t play, due to either injuries or coaching decisions.

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Calvin Johnson, who hasn’t played in the preseason yet, will most likely not take the field in Jacksonville.

“Not quite certain if you’re going to see him at all,” said Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. “There’s no guarantees at this point. … It’s my decision. No injury concerns.”

Presumed starting running back Joique Bell is still on the active/physically unable to perform list, and also hasn’t suited up during the preseason. On the line, Caraun Reid and Larry Warford are both dealing with high ankle sprains and will most likely not play until at least Week 1.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who dealt with a hernia last season as well as offseason hip surgery, is hurt again, although Caldwell hasn’t specified what the particular injury is.

“It’s one of those things where it may be a kind of a week to week kind of a deal, so, you know, there’s no surgery mentioned or anything of that nature and they think it can heal with time and even the rest of the last three days has, you know, made him feel a lot better,” Caldwell said.

DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah also didn’t participate in practice on Wednesday. Haloti Ngata is still on the active/non-football injury list, and Kevin Snyder was added to the injured reserve on Wednesday.

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Tackle LaAdrian Waddle and defensive end Jason Jones were recently activated off the PUP list, but Caldwell said neither would play in Friday’s game against the Jaguars.

With so many everyday players sitting out, it gives others a shot to cement their spot on a roster that’s still very much in a fluid state.

Regardless of position, players know that beyond what they do on the field, their future is in someone else’s hands.

“They’re always tight. We’re in the NFL; everyone here can play football really well,” said Greg Salas, who has performed well in the preseason and is fighting for a spot in the Lions’ tight competition at wide receiver. “They’re always going to be close. You’ve just got to play the best you can and let the coaches decide.”

With those cuts coming up – and with the regular season approaching just as quickly – half the battle this week is figuring out who plays and when. And with as many injuries as the Lions have piled up, those personnel decisions get a little more difficult.

“There will be some guys that will play the entire first half and come out and start the series in the third quarter,” Caldwell said. “There will be others that won’t be quite that long. This time of year particularly, when you get as many guys banged up as we’ve got banged up of late in the last week and a half or so those things enter in, so it changes it up a little bit.”

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