Calvin Johnson had broken fingers for most of the 2012 season, but said they didn’t slow him down too much.
That might be a bit of an understatement. Johnson turned in one of, if not the best receiving seasons of all time, setting an NFL record with 1,964 yards.
Numbers aside, Johnson was dominant on an otherwise dismal Detroit Lions team, virtually unstoppable at times.
And Calvin Johnson did it all with broken fingers.
“Yeah, I had a couple of things here and there,” Johnson said. “Pretty much trying to get them back straight, trying to straighten them things out.
“I had a couple of injuries but nothing that prohibited me from doing what I needed to do. The thing with a lot of football players, you have injuries, but unless you know about it you just think it’s something that hurts and you keep on playing.”
The busted fingers caused Johnson to miss a bit of practice time, but he says he’s all healed up now and ready for the 2013 season. Johnson said his goal is to top 2,000 yards in the coming year.
“I am feeling good,” he said. “This is the time to get the body strong and ready to go through what we are about to go through.”
But first and foremost, Johnson wants to win.
“I have talked to (retired Pittsburgh Steelers receiver) Hines Ward the last couple of offseasons because we share the same trainer,” Johnson said. “He told me, ‘You can have all the accolades in the world, but it don’t really mean nothing if you aren’t winning.’ I can get three touchdowns and 200 yards, but if you lose the game what’s it all for?”
The Lions begin OTAs on Tuesday, and Johnson said he’s ready to get to work after a disappointing 4-12 season.
“We know what we were last year,” Johnson said. “Very disappointing that we weren’t able to get back to where we were (in 2011), especially since we were so close in so many of those games. Everybody’s focus should be way more intense this year.
“But you can’t tell until you get on the field.”
At least this year Calvin Johnson won’t have broken fingers to worry about.