|Calvin Johnson says he played with a concussion in Week 4. His coach says otherwise. (Getty Images)|
From the department of players shrugging off their long-term health for short-term rewards, we bring you the tale of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who told CBS Detroit that he played through a concussion in Week 4.
“He rung my bell pretty good. He got me. He caught me around the chin, that was a good hit,” said Johnson, who had a nasty collision with Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, which led the NFL to fining the Vikings linebacker $21,000. “It’s a part of football, you get concussed, you gotta keep on playing. You can’t get afraid to go across the middle any more than you were at the beginning.”
On Thursday, Johnson’s story hadn’t changed. Yes, he said, he had a concussion during the game and he played through it.
“Yeah, you could tell. It was obvious," Johnson said, via Mlive.com. "I said exactly what I meant, but I guess you could take it out of context. What I meant when I said you have to keep going is you can't be afraid to go over the middle. Not that you get concussed you have to keep playing.
"We know you can't do that if you don't pass the test, but you can't be afraid to keep on going over the middle and doing what we've been doing."
Coach Jim Schwartz must have done a spit-take when he saw those comments, because he was adamant that Johnson did not have a concussion during Detroit’s loss to Minnesota.
Because, of course, that wouldn’t be fitting with the NFL’s tougher stance on concussions, correct? Even though Johnson said it was obvious, there was no way the Lions would let him back on the field with a concussion. Isn’t that right, Colt McCoy’s dad?
"Our evaluation was he was not concussed," Schwartz said. "He was thoroughly checked. We were very strong in our evaluation. He was cleared to go back in the game, and he was on a protocol after that, and he was cleared then.
"We're very strong in our evaluation, and as an organization, we have some credibility when it comes to concussions. So just leave it there."
Schwartz probably hopes Johnson does the same.
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