His fingers are gnarled. He spends as much time in the training room as anyone on the team. And a lingering ankle injury forced him to miss large amounts of practice time this year, for the second straight season.
All that wear and tear has caused Johnson to contemplate his future. He has mentioned the subject of retirement to at least one former teammate.
And today, Johnson released a joint statement with the Lions, saying he is evaluating his future and should have an answer soon.
“Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future," Johnson said in the statement. I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”
The Lions said in the statement: "We obviously have profound respect for Calvin and certainly understand and appreciate his decision to give proper thought and consideration to his football future."
Johnson had four Top 3 finishes in the six years from 2008 to 2013. He finished 15th in 2014 and 9th last season, though he was 16th on a per game basis. If he retires, it's obviously a big blow to Matthew Stafford, whose splits with Johnson in the lineup are significantly higher than when Johnson is sidelined.