Calvin Johnson is beloved by many Detroit Lions fans. But when you get a look at what he went through on a daily basis, it makes a lot of sense why he decided to retire early in the minds of many this off season after nine years, where he had seven 1,000-yard seasons and was invited to six Pro Bowls.
In a teaser trailer for an ESPN interview with Michael Smith that’s airing in full at 10 p.m. tonight (Thursday), John covers a wide range of challenges he faced that should be known the football fans. The pressure to play at any cost; the constant concussions; the painkillers; the shuffle to walk in the morning.
“The team doctor, the team trainers, they work for the team. And I love ’em, you know,” he said to ESPN. “They’re some good people, you know. They want to see you do good. But at the same time, they work for the team, you know. They’re trying to do whatever they can to get you back on the field and make your team look good. So if it’s not gonna make the team look good, or if you’re not gonna be on the field, then they’re tryin’ to do whatever they can to make that happen.”
Although an acrobat on the field on Sundays, the rest of the week was a grind.
“When you wake up in the morning, you can’t walk, you’re shuffling across the floor. I gotta go through a little routine when I wake up in the morning just to get everything functioning and ready to go,” said Johnson in the clip. “But the only thing is, everything just goes back to gridlock so fast once you sit down.”
“My job is to catch the ball. So when catching the ball when that kinda hurts, that’s another flag … I got this finger, it’s something else … I think it’s actually wearing away.”
Below is the video.