Calvin Johnson didn't suffer concussion: Lions
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
|The Lions issued a release regarding the health of Calvin Johnson on Friday, saying, "We reiterate that Calvin did not suffer a concussion at any time this season." (REUTERS)
The head games continue for Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
After spending much of the week talking about a concussion that he said he suffered earlier in the season, Megatron was backtracking as slickly as he does to elude defenders on the field.
In fact, both Johnson and his team claim that Johnson did not, in fact, suffer a concussion, in a September meeting with the Minnesota Vikings. Though he practised on Friday — good news considering his nagging knee injury — Johnson was not made available to reporters afterwards.
That didn’t stop both the Lions and Johnson from issuing separate, scripted releases designed at getting the story straight.
First the Lions:
“In response to the various reports yesterday regarding Calvin Johnson and injuries, we reiterate that Calvin did not suffer a concussion at any time this season.
“With respect to the Minnesota game on September 30, Calvin sustained a hit that resulted in him being removed from the game and evaluated pursuant to the appropriate concussion protocol by our team doctors. He also was subsequently examined the following day and was found to have no concussion.”
The team also denied another Johnson claim — that he suffered nerve damage in that game. Said Johnson via his statement:
“I have not suffered any nerve damage nor have I received any treatment for nerve damage.”
DIVE COSTS BIG
There is North American football and there is the game the rest of the world calls football. And when it comes to flopping and injury faking, the NFL doesn’t want to have anything resembling what happens too often in the other game.
As a result, the league has slapped Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders with a $15,000 fine and the team $35,000 for faking an injury against the Bengals on Oct. 21.
“Neither the video sequence of the pertinent plays nor the observations of the on-field official support Sanders’s contention that he was in severe pain, either before, while falling to the ground, lying on the ground, or when he was being assisted in leaving the field,” NFL vice president of football operations, Ray Anderson, said in a letter to Sanders and the team.
“Moreover, after missing the one play that is mandatory pursuant to the playing rules, and receiving no apparent treatment, Sanders returned to the game for a fourth down punt, on which he out sprinted all of his teammates 26 yards down the field, arriving at the ball ahead of all other Pittsburgh players, and then downing the ball.”
Sanders then played the rest of the game without any apparent difficulty. In his ruling, Anderson said the league doesn’t feel Sanders had been “coached” to fake the injury, which would have resulted in a larger fine.
Anderson went on to say that they don’t believe Sanders had been coached to fake an injury. If the NFL believed the Steelers instructed or coached Sanders to fake the injury, the fine would have been “substantially more.”
VICK FINED FOR BLOCK
As if a going-nowhere-fast season marred by red-zone turnovers didn’t sting enough, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick can add another dose of pain.
Vick was fined $7,875 for a low block on Saints safety Roman Harper after one of his latest interceptions in Monday’s loss at New Orleans.
The play was the beginning of the end for the Eagles in the Monday nighter, a 88-yard pick-six return by Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson. In so many ways, it was a play typical of the Eagles season - Vick’s ninth interception and yet another red-zone turnover.
Meanwhile, Vick recognizes the urgency of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, a “battle” of two underachieving 3-5 teams.
“That’s the question, do the other guys, the young guys, understand what’s at stake?” Vick told reporters in Philadelphia. “Not just as far as our careers go, just as far as this organization and winning. That’s what it’s all about.
“I’m not thinking about next year, I’m not thinking about what’s going to happen. I’m thinking about this very game because that’s what’s more important. We have to live in the now.”
PEYTON SET TO PASS MARINO
It was only a matter of time after he got healthy that Peyton Manning moved into No. 2 among touchdown passes in NFL history.
And the way things have been going so far, it could happen Sunday in Carolina.
Manning leads his Denver Broncos into action against the Panthers needing two touchdown tosses to pass Dan Marino (420) and into second on the all-time list. The former Indianapolis Colts QB would need at least a couple more seasons of good health and production to track down all-time leader Brett Favre, who retired with 508 career TD passes.
After missing a full season with a neck injury, Manning has regained his form quickly, throwing 20 touchdowns for the resurgent Broncos, who are at 5-3 and leading the AFC West. With a win this week, Manning would tie Marino for another mark - 147 career wins. Favre leads that category as well with 186 followed by Manning’s current boss, John Elway, the Broncos legend, at 148.
“He’s transcending to a god of the game,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said. “What he has done for this game and the records he has set is just extraordinary. It’s going to be exciting to watch. I’m saying this in the best way possible: I’m not wishing him any luck for this game.”