Calvin Johnson officially announced his retirement from the NFL in 2016, later admitting he had his "fair share of concussions." In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, the former Detroit Lions player broke down how he managed to cope with the pain after every game by smoking weed.
He estimated that he suffered "at least nine concussions" during his football career, a "super conservative" number, according to him. He smoked frequently to help with the healing process. He also explained that one of the biggest issues that players faced around the time was an abuse of drugs prescribed to cope with pain.
"When I got to the league, [there] was opioid abuse," Johnson added. "You really could go in the training room and get what you wanted. I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin]. It was too available. I used Percocet and stuff like that. And I did not like the way that made me feel. I had my preferred choice of medicine. Cannabis."
Throughout his career, Johnson overcame countless injuries. During his rookie season he suffered from persistent lower-back issues, while in the later stages of his career, he faced problems with one of his ankles and both knees.