With Lions receiver Calvin Johnson previously claiming he suffered a concussion during a September 30 game against the Vikings, with the Lions denying it, and with Johnson now claiming he also suffered nerve damage, the question becomes whether the Lions could be the fifth team fined $20,000 this year for not being fully candid on the injury report.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that the league looked into the claim that Calvin suffered a concussion. To date, however, the NFL hasn’t explored whether Johnson had undisclosed nerve damage.
“We looked into it,” Aiello said via email regarding the claim by Johnson that he suffered a concussion. “Johnson had a complete sideline neuro evaluation by the team physician and passed. He was examined post game and was fine, and looked at Monday and again was fine.” (Aiello sent the same email to Anwar Richardson of Mlive.com.)
In other words, the NFL agreed with the Lions that Johnson didn’t have a concussion — even though Johnson has said on multiple occasions that he did.
As to the newly-raised issue of nerve damage, the league has yet to investigate. “Check with the Lions on that,” Aiello said. “If he hasn’t reported it to the team and isn’t being treated for it, they have no basis for putting him on the injury report.”
It’s hard to imagine Johnson not getting treatment for a condition that is affecting his grip on the ball, and it’s even harder to believe that Johnson didn’t mention the condition to the team.
Though it’s unclear whether the league will take further action, the teams already fined $20,000 each for violating the injury-reporting rules should be taking a page from the Drew Brees playbook, and asking for an explanation.