Calvin Johnson says he learned to play through concussions during his career with the Lions

calvin johnson says he learned to play through concussions during his career with the lions - Calvin Johnson says he learned to play through concussions during his career with the Lions
Former three-time all-pro Calvin Johnson mentioned the Lions sought after him to modify his tale referring to one of the crucial many concussions he suffered throughout his NFL profession. (Rick Osentoski/AP Picture)

Sooner than Calvin Johnson retired from the Detroit Lions, his nine-year NFL profession apparently over in its top, he were given used to struggling concussions. He conservatively estimates he suffered 9 in his profession.

“Bam, hit the bottom actual laborious. I’m seeing stars; I will’t see immediately,” he advised Sports activities Illustrated in an interview printed Friday. “However I do know in a pair mins I’m going to be nice. As a result of I’ve achieved that quite a few instances ahead of.”

He says he modified his tale about no less than one head damage after being confused by means of the group, and says he had his collection of medicine to care for the ache soccer, telling SI that every one approach of narcotics had been to be had within the coaching room. He selected to smoke marijuana after video games.

In his retirement, Johnson is every other former NFL participant to relay his misgivings in regards to the league and the sport that made him well-known, however left him dealing with an unsure long run.

Johnson advised the mag he retired early, on the identical age as Corridor of Reputation operating again and previous Lion Barry Sanders, pronouncing there’s a “very sturdy chance” he would have stored enjoying longer if the Lions have been extra a hit. Detroit requested him handy again an estimated $1.6 million, a prorated portion of his signing bonus, one thing the group was once totally entitled to do, however Johnson discovered the request petty. You don’t ask one among your franchise’s mythical gamers to present again what quantities to a rounding error the place NFL salaries are involved, he reasoned.

Now Johnson mentioned he has no plans to set foot within the Lions’ facility or at a group match. He advised Detroit Trainer Matt Patricia he would lend a hand educate the group’s receivers, however someplace off-site.

“I wouldn’t essentially say I cheer for the Lions,” Johnson advised SI. “I cheer for the gamers.”

He thought of leaving soccer a 12 months previous as a result of the consistent ache he persevered, however didn’t really feel sure in regards to the resolution, so he got here again to play yet another 12 months.

In 2012, 3 years ahead of he retired, he mentioned he suffered a concussion in opposition to the Vikings, then reentered and completed the sport. The Lions proceed to insist Johnson handed the league’s concussion protocol that day. Johnson within the week after the sport, apologized and mentioned he used phrases “concussion” and “nerve harm” incorrectly. Now, he’s pronouncing one thing else.

“I knew I used to be concussed as a result of I blacked out. I wasn’t seeing immediately,” he mentioned. “And so they sought after me to modify my tale.”

That was once a part of the disorder, he advised SI, that contributed to his departure from soccer. Now, regardless that, Johnson is in keep an eye on. He runs Locker Room Consulting, a company that is helping athletes get ready for existence after sports activities, and a hashish dispensary referred to as Primitive.

When Detroit went Zero-16 in 2008, the primary time an NFL group went winless in a 16-game season, Johnson recalled quarterback Jon Kitna walked out of a gathering with a premonition.

“He left the assembly room in the future, and he advised the coaches and the entire group that we’re now not going to win a recreation if we move into the season with [this] machine,” Johnson mentioned. “Any individual will have to have listened. As a result of we had been Zero-16 after that.”

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