Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson revealed he suffered nerve damage that made it hard to grip the ball.
He blamed the hits he received in the Lions’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings in September. Among those were by Harrison Smith to Johnson’s upper chest that prevented a touchdown, and a helmet-to-helmet hit by Chad Greenway.
Greenway was fined $21,000 for that hit, which gave Johnson a concussion. Johnson had at least three drops in the three games after the meeting with Vikings.
A touchdown pass glanced off his fingers against the Seahawks, dropped a crossing route against the Bears, and couldn’t bring the ball across the goal line against Jacksonville.
He noted that the hits have a lot of lingering impact. Aside from affecting his grip, he complains of pain shooting down his arm.
Johnson said he’s feeling better and has been doing a lot in the weight room to strengthen the muscle around the affected nerve.
The 27-year-old Johnson has just one touchdown reception this season, a year after finishing second in the NFL with 16 touchdown catches. He ranks third in the NFL this season with 767 receiving yards after leading last season with 1,681 yards.