Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson missed practice Thursday as he is still back in his home state of California after a death in the family.

Coach Doug Marrone said it's going to be a "tough call" as to whether Johnson will be available to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Complicating matters for Johnson and the Bills is a lower-back injury suffered in Week Five against the Cleveland Browns.

"I'll get ready to call him here in a little bit. You know see how he's doing" Marrone said. "Obviously he's working on getting treatment out there. I really don't know until he comes back and we're able to talk with him and see how he feels. It's quite a long travel for him to Oakland and back so I really don't know."

Since becoming a starter in 2010 Johnson has played in 53 straight games. He is not expected to return to the team in time for Friday's practice because of the distance he has to travel.

"We've been communicating with him with the gameplan and all that stuff. So he has everything he has all the film" Marrone said. "The one good thing about the iPads now is we have all that available for our players. It's not like out of sight out of mind not here."