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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Johnson closes in on Lions receiving mark

By Michael Rothstein

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Calvin Johnson laughed heavily Thursday afternoon. He was answering questions about a report from Fox that he has had his knee drained at points this season.

And it was something he would not confirm or deny. He just laughed instead.

He isn’t, though, concerned the ailing knee will curtail his career. He said he believes he can handle fixing the knee in the offseason and hasn’t given much thought at all as to when his career will conclude.

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson needs just 40 more yards to break Herman Moore's team record for receiving yards.
“I’m not worried about that,” Johnson said. “Like I say, when the time comes, I’ll know, but it’s not here right now.”

What is coming up for Johnson is yet another record. He is 40 yards from breaking Herman Moore’s Detroit Lions franchise mark for receiving yards. Moore had 9,174 yards receiving from 1991 to 2001. Johnson said he has gotten to know Moore, who has been around the facility all season working with the team's website.

Johnson, in eight seasons, has 9,135 yards.

“Man, it’s crazy all the records and everything that’s been going down,” Johnson said. “Haven’t had too much time to think about it, sit back and reflect on it or anything like that.”

Some of what Johnson has been doing has exceeded even what he thought he could accomplish when he was drafted second by the Lions out of Georgia Tech in 2007 after Oakland selected quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first pick of the draft.

Then, he was concerned with working as he had at Georgia Tech and to reward those who had the faith to draft him.

“Never thought I would be in this position that I am right now,” Johnson said. “It’s truly a blessing.”

Since then, Johnson has been through losing seasons and a multitude of quarterbacks. He went through a year where he didn’t win at all and Thursday he said he never wanted to leave Detroit. He just wanted to win.

And now, the Lions are winning, in large part due to Johnson, the top receiver in the NFL.

“There’s nobody more deserving than Calvin,” receiver Nate Burleson said. “Herman can see it the same way. If you want somebody to break the record, having Calvin Johnson do it, in the most humble fashion a superstar can do it, he’s the right guy to break it.”