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WR Calvin Johnson - Detroit Lions

6-5, 235Born: 9-25-1985College: Georgia TechDrafted: Round 1, pick 2

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Photo: Mike Dinovo, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Tue Feb 2): told head coach Jim Caldwell after the regular season that he plans to retire, according to sources. Caldwell has told Johnson to take his time with his decision, and the Lions are hoping that Johnson will change his mind this offseason. Johnson may be offered an extension by the Lions in an effort by Detroit to bring their star wide receiver back.

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

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17 at CHI 58 0 0 0 15 10 137 1 0 19.7

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 17 vs CHI (15 / 10 / 137 / 1 rec)

Seeing a heavy dose of single coverage, Stafford looked in Calvin Johnson's direction much against the Bears. The connection started strong with the second pass of the game going to Johnson 25 yards down field. A perfectly thrown back shoulder pass to Johnson added another 20 yards early in the second, and the two continued their success throughout the quarter. In the second half, Johnson caught a 36 yard touchdown between two defenders to get things rolling, and continued to reel in short and intermediate passes to move the chains through the fourth quarter. Since the change in coaching, Stafford and Johnson have had a resurgence in their efficacy.

2015 Week 16 vs SF (10 / 6 / 77 / 1 rec)

After a quiet first half in which he saw a 35 yard pass go through his hands, Calvin Johnson saw an increase in targets in the second, and was a major component in the Detroit offense. In the fourth quarter, Johnson grabbed a 15 yard pass on a comeback route and promptly turned it up field for another 14 yards after the catch. Later, on the 1 yard line, a quick double move gave Johnson several steps on his defender and he was able to catch a short touchdown pass on the route. A 22 yard pass later in the fourth found Johnson down at the 1 yard line. Unfortunately after review it was questionably overturned and ruled an incomplete pass.

2015 Week 15 vs NO (1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)

Calvin Johnson was only targeted once during this game, and made the most of it. Running a deep crosser, Johnson reeled in the ball for a 19 yard gain. A hit to his helmet added a 5 yards to the play. He did seem to be mildly bothered by the hit, and later tweaked his ankle, which could explain his reduced usage.

2015 Week 14 vs STL (5 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

Calvin Johnson was blanketed and covered very well for the majority of this game. He saw only 5 balls thrown his direction -one of which ended in a pick-six and two others were poor decisions by Stafford. His first target of the game was midway through the second quarter when Stafford overthrew him by three yards on a wide open play. In the fourth quarter, Johnson and his quarterback did finally connect on a 16 yard post route where the receiver was unfortunately stopped on the 2 yard line, just short of a score.

2015 Week 13 vs GB (8 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec)

Only able to score once, Calvin Johnson was heavily targeted deep and, in theory, could have finished the day with three touchdowns. On Detroit's first drive, after pulling in a short catch on a crossing route for 20 yard, Johnson was targeted on a risky throw between two defenders that Johnson got a hand on, but the pass was well defended. After the Green Bay turnover, Stafford didn't waste time when he found Johnson in the end zone on a methodical 17 yard corner route. Great toss, better catch. After a quiet 2nd quarter, Stafford again targeted Johnson twice in the third on passes of 37 and 25 yards. Both passes were unfortunately off-target and incomplete. Finally, in the last quarter of the game, Stafford sent a 33 yard package in the star receiver's direction that was unfortunately a yard ahead of him and uncatchable.

2015 Week 12 vs PHI (14 / 8 / 93 / 3 rec)

This was the game that Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson have needed all season. While cool in the first quarter, the two warmed to boiling in the second. Johnson was used on intermediate crossing, curl, and out routes through the second quarter. After a well defended pass was broken up in the end zone and Stafford was sacked on the next play, the quarterback again looked to Johnson in the end zone on a corner route for a touchdown. The momentum carried over into the third quarter with Johnson finding the end zone two more times. On the first catch, the quarterback threw another perfectly placed ball as Johnson ran a corner route from the 4 yard line. With a defender inside, Stafford placed the ball high to Johnson's outside should, letting the receiver use his size and hands to make the play. On their next touchdown connection, Stafford threw a high ball over the top of the defender as Johnson ran a corner route to the right. By the time the defender saw the ball coming he was out of position and again Johnson used his size and hands to catch the ball on the side of the end zone over the defender's grasp. As mentioned earlier, this game was sorely needed by Johnson and the offense. It was the first game where Johnson has been able to excel and deliver numbers fitting his skill.

2015 Week 11 vs OAK (9 / 5 / 88 / 0 rec)

Targeted throughout the game, Calvin Johnson had a productive one. At the end of the first quarter, a stalled drive in the Oakland red zone could have possibly had a different result had Stafford looked in the direction of his Pro Bowl receiver who was in single coverage. Later in the second quarter, a deep 50 yard pass from Stafford was too far in front of Johnson, but the two connected late in the second quarter for 21 and 36 yard receptions in the hurry-up offense. The second half was a quiet one for Johnson, as he was targeted three times but only came down with one of the passes on a 7 yard slant. Of the two missed targets, one was thrown into good coverage and broken up by the defender while the second pass was off-target and uncatchable.

2015 Week 10 vs GB (9 / 6 / 81 / 0 rec)

Calvin Johnson saw his first action in the second quarter on a play action pass for a gain of 13. Shortly after that Stafford found him on a 19 yard out route. Stafford attempted to connect with Johnson for a touchdown in the final seconds of the second quarter, but overthrew him in the end zone - a catch that Johnson likely could have outjumped the defender for if it had been on point. In the third quarter Johnson again found success with another out route for a 16 yard gain on a well-executed play on 3rd and 5. He didn't see the ball again until the fourth quarter when Stafford looked his way often. Johnson caught a tip-toe catch on the sideline for 15 yards, and then followed it up with a 6 yard crosser. Later in the fourth, with the pocket imploding, Stafford worked outside and hooked up with Johnson for a 14 yard gain.

2015 Week 8 vs KC (10 / 5 / 85 / 0 rec)

While the pass attack struggled with the pressure the Chiefs were bringing, Calvin Johnson continued to be a model of efficiency by making the most of targets in his directions. Used heavily along the sidelines, Calvin found success on comebacks, outs, and fade routes throughout the day. He also worked the middle of the field occasionally, and had his one and only mishap on the day when he dropped a well place ball on a crossing route. The drop occurred on 3rd and 14 and Johnson was well short of the first down and had a defender coming in hot, so the drop did little to affect the game or his stat line. Later, Stafford missed Johnson on a 25 yard route where he was open on the sideline and would have likely been able to use his physicality to gain a decent amount of yards after the catch, but the two connected shortly thereafter on a 30 yard high-point grab by Johnson.

2015 Week 7 vs MIN (7 / 5 / 86 / 1 rec)

It was a tough day for Calvin Johnson, or at least got that way after the second quarter. Johnson had a very successful first half with several big catches, including a 1-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. On that play, Johnson did a great job of using his body to block out the defender, then reaching up and snatching the ball from the air for the score. The Vikings adjusted to that early scoring drive though and managed to send so much pressure at quarterback Matt Stafford that he was unable to give Johnson the time to get open. Johnson went the entirety of the third quarter without a target and then from the 12:52 mark to the 2:58 mark without one in the fourth as well. The problem was the Lions allowing too many sacks and too much pressure on Stafford. Johnson himself was fine, but that didn't do the team as much good as it could have because of the play of the offensive line.

2015 Week 6 vs CHI (9 / 6 / 166 / 1 rec)

The Detroit offense got back on track against Chicago, and it was largely due to the involvement of Calvin Johnson. For the first time this season, Detroit fans saw the Stafford-to-Johnson chemistry that has been so effective in the past. Stafford took several shots downfield to Johnson throughout this game and the placement seemed to be on for every one of them. Used in the intermediate passing routes as well, Johnson helped keep the offense moving when called upon. Johnson was able to cap off a very productive day with some stunning work at the end of overtime as well. With 3:30 left, Stafford hit Johnson on a fade route for 57 yards. Detroit continued to inch closer to the end zone and called it a game after Stafford found Johnson on a short slant for the game winning touchdown.

2015 Week 5 vs ARI (7 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)

The Arizona defense's pressure on Stafford clearly inhibited Calvin Johnson on Sunday. With Stafford, he saw plenty of looks but the ball placement and excellent coverage minimized his stat line. Last week, Johnson found success running curl and crossing routes, and once again found similar success against Arizona. The Detroit quarterbacks certainly threw plenty of passes in this game, but the defense wasn't allowing enough room or time for him to make a big play.

2015 Week 4 vs SEA (11 / 7 / 56 / 0 rec)

Stafford got back to his roots and found Calvin Johnson throughout this game. While Johnson did find some success, the defense limited his yards after the catch with great coverage. Johnson was visibly frustrated early in the game as he and the offense struggle to find much to get excited about. He also had two catches negated by penalty. His largest gain on the day was in the first quarter when he executed a precise curl route for a 15 yard gain. Johnson's frustration likely peaked in the closing minutes of the game when he fumbled the ball on the one yard line after a nice catch and run for 10 yards. Overall, Johnson looked good, but wasn't heavily targeted until the fourth quarter of the game.

2015 Week 3 vs DEN (13 / 8 / 77 / 0 rec)

In week three, Stafford continued to target Calvin Johnson frequently. The change in this performance was that the passes were placed better for Johnson than in previous weeks, as Stafford displayed better overall accuracy. While the majority of the passes Johnson caught were short routes, Stafford did connect with him on a 21 yard gain where he shifted at the last minute to keep an off-target ball away from the defender. Johnson did miss a touchdown in the first half, as he was covered well by Aqib Talib and had the ball knocked down.

2015 Week 2 vs MIN (17 / 10 / 83 / 1 rec)

Calvin Johnson returned to a prominent role in the Detroit offense this week. Targeted 15 times, Johnson was the most active offense weapon for Detroit. Due to the success of the Minnesota coverage and pressure, Johnson's stat line wasn't gaudy, but he found ways to produce. Johnson worked all areas of the field, finding success across the middle, on the outside, and down the field. His touchdown in the end zone was a veteran catch with a toe plant and drag while falling out of bounds. If Stafford would have had better protection and accuracy, Johnson would likely have surpassed the century mark as he regularly positioned himself for successful completions.

2015 Week 1 vs SD (4 / 2 / 39 / 0 rec)

With Stafford pressured and the San Diego secondary performing well, Calvin Johnson struggled to find room to work. Pulling in two receptions on four targets, Johnson did all he could to help Detroit. Taking a big hit over the middle running a dig route, Johnson moved the chains and was uninjured.

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Latest News

Lions | Calvin Johnson's body not holding up (Wed Feb 10, 01:56 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson's body and injuries are the main reason he is contemplating retirement, according to WR teammate Golden Tate. 'But his body just isn't holding up. With his body type, and how he plays the game, he plays at a high level all the time for a bunch of years,' Tate said.

Our View: Johnson needed weekly knee drains in 2013 in order to play, and he missed three games and was used as a decoy in two other games with a high ankle sprain in 2014. Johnson also battled ankle injuries this year.
link to story   

Lions | Calvin Johnson and GM could meet (Fri Feb 5, 11:47 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is staying in touch with team president Rod Wood, and Wood said he hopes to introduce Johnson to general manager Bob Quinn sometime next week.

Our View: Everyone is just going to have to be patient here. It looks like Johnson is going to retire at this time, but he could change his mind as the season draws closer. We don't think a meeting in February with the GM will all of a sudden change his mind. However, it's a wise move for the Lions to stay in contact with Johnson.
link to story   

Lions | Calvin Johnson's longevity was in question (Thu Feb 4, 09:25 AM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson's (ankles) longevity and condition of his ankles was a concern for doctors, and the team told prospective coaches they were interviewing about it in 2014.

Our View: The questions will come now that (it seems) Johnson is hanging up his cleats. We still think Johnson has great years left, but having ankle issues would definitely limit his production going forward.
link to story   

Lions | Detroit wants Calvin Johnson to return (Mon Feb 1, 05:18 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson may be offered an extension by the Lions in an effort by Detroit to bring their star wide receiver back. It was reported earlier that Johnson made the Lions aware of his intentions to retire following the 2015 season.

Our View: Of course the Lions want Calvin Johnson back! Not only are they thin at the position behind him, he's still a top-10 receiver in the NFL. Johnson is far from the end of his career, and he could be a top contributor to their offense for years to come. Nothing's official, and the Lions are hoping they can convince Johnson to play in 2016..and beyond.
link to story   

Lions | Calvin Johnson plans to retire (Sun Jan 31, 05:29 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson told head coach Jim Caldwell after the regular season that he plans to retire, according to sources. Caldwell has told Johnson to take his time with his decision, and the Lions are hoping that Johnson will change his mind this offseason.

Our View: Johnson turned 30 in September, and reports say he told family that 2015 would be his last season. While he seems content with his decision right now, there's always a chance that Johnson changes his mind. He's due approximately $16 million in base salary (per Spotrac.com) in 2016, but he's got a cap number of just over $24 million after bonuses. If Johnson ends up retiring, the Lions will obviously make adding talent at the position a priority.
link to story   

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