Calvin Johnson was one of the greatest receivers in the NFL during his 9-year career with the Detroit Lions. When Johnson donned his Silver and Honolulu Blue uniform, he appeared to be an unstoppable force who gave the Lions a chance to score no matter where they were on the field.
However, even though “Megatron” looked unstoppable, his career came to an end when he retired suddenly after the 2015 season. The decision took fans by surprise, because the 6-5, 237-pound game-changing receiver looked like he would be able to dominate for many years. In addition to the size and strength edge he had on nearly all defensive backs, he was also faster and a better leaper than those who attempted to cover him.
But looks can be deceiving. Johnson was not some other-worldly superman — he was a man who bore the battle scars of playing the demanding sport.
Johnson explained what he was going through in the final years of his career in an interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson.
“I’d wake up in the morning and drag my feet across the floor to the bathroom,” the receiver said. “I would shower just to get my body warmed up but literally drag my feet flat because my ankles were always swollen.”
Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021. He had 1,000 receiving yards or more in 7 of his 9 seasons.
Calvin Johnson had his best season in 2012 when he caught a remarkable 122 passes for 1,964 yards and 5 touchdowns. That season came on the heels of his 2020 season in which he caught 96-1,681-16.