Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson Playing Well Despite Nerve Damage, Knee Injury

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer INovember 9, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 04:   Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions in action during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 4, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Calvin Johnson suffered nerve damage in the Detroit Lions' Week 4 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Johnson took two hard hits in the game—one from safety Harrison Smith, who hit Johnson in the chest causing him to drop a touchdown pass. The other was a hit to the head delivered by linebacker Chad Greenway, which resulted in a $21,000 fine.

Johnson claims he suffered a concussion on the Greenway hit, but Jim Schwartz twice denied this claim Thursday, according to Birkett.

Regardless, it’s clear that Megatron has not been feeling 100 percent for much of the season.

The nerve damage has affected Johnson’s ability to grip the ball, while lingering issues with his left knee have caused him to miss significant practice time. Johnson took painkillers prior to last week’s game against the Jaguars to help him cope with the knee injury, according to

Despite these setbacks Johnson has yet to miss a game this season. In eight games, the wide receiver has 48 receptions for 767 yards and one touchdown. Johnson is on pace to have similar reception and receiving yards statistics as a season ago, but he will likely finish well short of the 16-touchdown mark.

His only touchdown catch this season came courtesy of backup quarterback Shaun Hill in a Week 3 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. Johnson has had a few shots at the end zone since, including a 38-yard reception against the Jaguars which ended with Johnson being tackled at the 1-yard line.

Johnson did not participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but you can expect to see him play on Sunday. The Lions (4-4) will take on the Vikings (4-5) in a pivotal divisional showdown in Minnesota.