Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn’t talk about injuries much all year, but when his season was over, he admitted that his most significant player was dealing with one that would require surgery.
Schwartz told reporters that Johnson would “probably” require surgery to fix the knee problem that has bothered him since September.
“Not anything major,” Schwartz said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “And that’s no different than probably a dozen players on the team.”
But Johnson is very different, and his deteriorating physical condition is one of the reasons the Lions slid into December, blowing an open door to the division title by losing their fourth straight game.
Johnson was inactive Sunday, saying he wasn’t able to contribute.
“I always try to get out there [and play], but it wouldn’t do any good to go out there hobbling around,” Johnson said.
He finished the year with 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those stats are other-worldly numbers for most, but after Megatron broke Jerry Rice’s league record with 1,964 yards last year, it was obvious something was amiss.
Now he can get it fixed, so Schwartz or whoever is coaching the Lions next year can enjoy it.