Johnson has been dealing with a sprained right ankle and sat out of Sunday's 17-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He originally sprained his ankle on Sept. 21, but played on it for the next two games before re-aggravating it.
"It's a bigger picture," Johnson said. "You want to be smart about it because if you go out there and do this again, then you put yourself down for even longer. So like you said, it's just trying to be smart so you can manage the thing and finish the season strong."
The receiver said he still has lingering pain in his ankle and is trying to re-strengthen it this week.
After Sunday's game, the Lions will head to London on Monday to play the Atlanta Falcons. Johnson said he expects to make that trip whether he plays against New Orleans or not.
Johnson has 22 catches in five games this season for 348 yards, with two touchdowns.
- Molly Geary