After comments earlier this week that a vicious collision might have resulted in "some nerve damage" (and affected his play), receiver Calvin Johnson did an aboutface on Friday, and the Detroit Lions looked to distance themselves from what has turned into media firestorm.
Johnson claimed that a helmet-to-helmet hit sustained in Minnesota on September 30 had caused a concussion. With a sub par season by "Megatron" standards, including uncharacteristic dropped passes and unproductive end zone numbers, many fans and media alike theorized the obvious correlation.
Johnson has 48 receptions thus far in 2012, and tallied 47 by the same mark a year ago. But his touchdown production is down considerably.
The problem is that Johnson was cleared of any concussion after the hit delivered by Minnesota's Chad Greenway (who was later fined for the illegal hit), and the only thing discussed regarding Johnson's health since had been a lingering knee injury.
The Lions attempted quell the situation with the following release:
"In response to the various reports yesterday regarding Calvin Johnson and injuries, we reiterate that Calvin did not suffer a concussion at any time this season.
"With respect to the Minnesota game on September 30, Calvin sustained a hit that resulted in him being removed from the game and evaluated pursuant to the appropriate concussion protocol by our team doctors.
"He also was subsequently examined the following day and was found to have no concussion.
"Additionally, Calvin did not suffer any nerve damage.
"He sustained what is referred to as a "stinger" in the September 30 game and was able to finish the game."
The team released the following statement on behalf of Johnson:
"I would like to clarify some of my comments from yesterday. I am aware that I did not suffer a concussion in our game against the Vikings earlier this year. I misused the terms ‘nerve damage' and ‘concussion.'
"I have not suffered any nerve damage nor have I received any treatment for nerve damage. I did suffer a stinger in the game against Minnesota and also have experienced the kind of wear and tear that most NFL players are dealing with at this point in the season."