Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson admitted in a recent interview that he had to take vicodin twice a game to make it through last season.
Johnson didn’t want to talk about the fact that he never got healthy after suffering a deep bone bruise in his lower back in the third game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles. If you are a Lions fan you could definitely tell the overall number two pick wasn’t the same after that.
The big wide out who doesn’t like to speak to the media anyways would always find somewhere else to be during the media’s 45-minute allocation to conduct interviews during lunch at the Lions training facility.
When he was asked if he avoided the media last year, “I really don’t talk to the media but, yeah, I did,” Johnson said. “Sometimes I’d come back and (reporters) would still be there. I knew people would ask about it and didn’t want to talk about it.”
Johnson had a decent rookie year last year by his terms he caught 48 passes for 756 yards and four touchdowns; he also scored on a 32-yard run.
He was shocked by the reaction of then Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz ,”(Then-offensive coordinator Mike) Martz couldn’t stand the fact that I wasn’t practicing,” Johnson said. “When I first got hurt, that Wednesday (after the Philadelphia game) I was out there in my sweats watching practice and he told me to go run. I said ‘I can’t run.’ I couldn’t even walk fast. I was thinking ‘Why are you telling me to run?'”
What was even more a shocking statement was what Johnson admitted next. “I was on meds the rest of the season. I was taking Vicodin twice a game just to get through the game,” Johnson said. “I stayed hurt the whole season, probably because I was trying to come back too soon. But I’m not going to be the kind of guy who’s going to say ‘I can’t do this or this because I’m hurt.’ I’m not going to say that.”
“He stayed hurt because he kept landing on it,” Lions trainer Al Bellamy said. “It kept lingering.”
“I’ve played with injuries before, but I’ve never had anything like this,” Johnson said. “I didn’t have my explosion.”
Johnson appears to be healthy and ready to get things going this year. While he doesn’t feel he can double his yardage output he feels that 1,200 yards is attainable especially since he did that in a 14 game college season. Hopefully for Lions fans they can see a healthy Calvin Johnson this season. It’s kind of scary to think he put up those numbers being injured the majority of the 2007 season.