SANTA CLARA -- Megastar wideout Calvin Johnson sat out the Detroit Lions' practice Wednesday with a foot injury. As for any thought he'll miss Sunday night's game at Candlestick Park, the 49ers aren't counting on it.
With rookie A.J. Jenkins portraying Johnson in a No. 81 jersey at Wednesday's practice, the 49ers already were bracing for one of the league's most talented playmakers.
"He's their featured guy. Everybody knows that," cornerback Tarell Brown said. "The biggest thing for us is to play our style of football."
That style, as outlined in Sunday's 30-22 season-opening win at Green Bay: Prevent long completions, and, of course, obliterate their opponents' running-game option.
Johnson has his own commanding style, and it's made him a very rich man. He received an eight-year, $132 million extension in March. Those are megamillions for the star nicknamed "Megatron."
Johnson made it onto this season's "Madden NFL 13" cover by producing video-game like numbers a year ago -- a career-high 96 receptions for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns for the playoff-bound Lions.
"(They'll) force the ball to him, regardless of how many people are on him," 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers said of Johnson. "He's going to be the No. 1 target this week."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz, in a conference call with Bay Area media, gave no indication Johnson is battling a balky foot. Johnson's injury is not believed to be serious, and the Lions can
That doesn't mean Schwartz is downgrading Johnson's threat level.
"Almost every team," Schwartz said, "starts their game plan with, 'How do we keep Calvin Johnson from beating us?' He's still able to have 100 yards receiving, 1,600 yards in a season, a bunch of touchdowns. He's not a guy that sneaks on the field."
Scouting Johnson isn't a new task. The 49ers' film study includes last season's 25-19 victory at Detroit, in which Johnson had seven catches for 113 yards.
Despite those impressive statistics, Johnson failed to reach the end zone. He had nine touchdowns in the Lions' 5-0 start before the 49ers' visit. Brown matched up most often with Johnson and looks forward to their reunion.
"We just have to go out there and get our hands on him and slow him down," Brown said. "He's going to make plays, but we want to limit his yards after the catch."
Brown (5-foot-10) knows Johnson (6-5) has a tremendous height advantage, and that factors in most on jump balls.
Brown opened the season in fine fashion in Green Bay, and his best play came early in the first quarter when he batted away a 40-yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers at the 49ers' 5-yard
But Rodgers was throwing to the 6-foot-1 James Jones, not Calvin Johnson.
"He's a special player in this league, unlike any other," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "Defenses treat him that way, so we have to treat him that way on offense, too."
On the Lions' game-winning play Sunday in St. Louis, Johnson drew four defenders with him into the end zone, leaving running back Kevin Smith wide open to catch a 5-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining in their 27-23 win.
"The play was designed for Calvin -- make no mistake about that," Schwartz said.
NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth is looking forward to seeing what Johnson can do against a 49ers defense Collinsworth calls the best since Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens, circa 2000.
"(Johnson) is such an intimidating figure on the field for any defense he plays against," Collinsworth said. "It makes it exciting for me to watch any time he is on the field."
As evidenced Wednesday, that excitement persists even when Johnson is missing from the practice field.