Megatron has played his last down of football.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who compiled 11,391 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns over a brilliant nine-year career, officially announced his retirement from the NFL today, something he’d been rumored to do since the 2015 season ended.
Nicknamed after a Transformer for his almost robot-like ability to catch anything and everything thrown his way, the 6-foot-5, 237-pound wideout was far and away the best at his position from 2011 to 2013. His best receiving season was in 2012, when he came just 36 yards shy of 2,000 yards while setting the NFL record for most receiving yards in a single season. He also caught 16 TDs in 2011, good for 14th most all-time in a single season.
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The six-time Pro Bowler also dealt with his fair share of injuries. He didn’t miss a single game between 2009 and 2013, but he was ravaged by injuries over the past two years, from nagging ankle sprains to a dislocated finger to a partially torn PCL. Johnson was in and out of the Lions lineup. Even more disappointing, the Lions made the playoffs only twice during Johnson’s tenure, losing both games in the initial Wild Card round.
Fans will remember Johnson for his ridiculous touchdown catches, leaping over multiple defenders to grab the ball out of thin air, and the touchdown that wasn’t a touchdown, which prompted critics to take a long, hard look at the NFL’s rules on what constitutes a catch.
Farewell, Megatron, and thank you.