Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson announced to much surprise in March that he was hanging up his cleats.
The 6-foot-5 Megatron frequently played through injuries and that took a toll over nine seasons. On one occasion, Johnson went under the knife to repair a finger he jacked up.
But first, the image of Carolina Panthers defensive back Charles Tillman's mangled pinkie that prompted Johnson's reply. (Warning: Johnson's image below is not safe for lunchtime).
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A photo posted by Charles Tillman (@peanuttillman) on
A photo posted by Calvin Johnson, Jr. (@megatron) on
If Johnson snapped that photo himself during surgery he's a braver man than we thought and maybe has a post-football career in medicine.
As far as NFL players and finger injuries go, there's plenty of competition. Former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott had part of his broken pinkie finger amputated in April 1986 to avoid a reconstructive surgery and subsequent rehabilitation. There's also Michael Strahan, whose finger does this:
And then there's Tillman's Panthers teammate Thomas Davis and I think we'll stop here for now:
This post is not about me, or how tough I am. It's not to shine any light on me or my injuries. Our team doctors and trainers did an amazing job giving me an opportunity to get back on the field. This post is strictly to show how much love I have for my brothers and #PantherNation. Thank you all for your support and we will #KeepPounding.-TD
A photo posted by td58 (@td58) on