Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson left Thursday night's 37-24 loss to Cleveland early with a back injury. X-rays were negative last night, and Bills head coach Doug Marrone told reporters on Friday that Johnson has been diagnosed with a lumbar sprain.
More importantly, Marrone said that the ailment was not as serious as once feared, and that Johnson will probably be ready to play when the Bills host the Cincinnati Bengals in nine days.
The back injury is the latest in a very long line of minor nicks for Johnson throughout his four-year career as a starter. He'd been listed as probable for the last two weeks with a hamstring issue, which may or may not still be bothering him, as well. His dings have allowed rookie Robert Woods to take more reps than him for a few weeks running.
Even though Johnson is likely to play in nine days, who he'll be catching passes from remains a mystery.