Calvin Johnson on returning to NFL: ‘I’m not coming back, man’
Calvin Johnson made it abundantly clear this week that despite retiring at the young age of 30 there are no plans whatsoever to return to professional football.
The former Detroit Lions wide receiver even chuckled when asked about an NFL comeback.
“I’m not coming back, man,” Johnson told ESPN Tuesday night. “Look, man. I got stuff that’s going to hurt for the rest of my life. I got a finger that’s literally bone-on-bone. This bad boy, it gets smaller. The more and more I do, it grinds bone-on-bone.
“Literally from last year, I went this year to get another X-Ray and this is after I retired, I knew it was messed up but I didn’t know to what degree because it was hurt.”
Johnson isn’t lying about the extent of his finger injuries. After officially announcing his retirement in March, Johnson took to social media to share a disturbing image of his mangled digit as well as photos from a surgery on it. But be forewarned, the images certainly qualify as certifiable nightmare fuel.
Johnson, who spent some of the initial part of his retirement competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” did admit he misses the camaraderie of an NFL locker room. But there are a lot things he is happy are in the past.
“The thing I don’t miss is waking up in the morning, hurting, the grind of the game,” Johnson said. “I got chronic stuff that everybody has when they’re done playing football for any length of time. So the good thing is I’m able to walk. I feel good. I’m able to spend more time with the fam. I’m able to chill. I don’t have to go out and run three miles every day in practice, you know what I’m saying. Goodness gracious.”
Regarding how former Lions teammate Matthew Stafford has prospered in his absence, Johnson praised his former quarterback for “playing his butt off.”
But in the end, Johnson has few regrets about his early retirement. But when asked, his response of “not winning the Super Bowl” was hardly surprising.