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Terry Foster: Calvin Johnson Closer To Lions Return, On One Condition

By Terry Foster

The chances of Calvin Johnson returning for a 10th season with the Lions increased slightly as Johnson's body heals, according to the same source who first revealed that Johnson was contemplating retirement.

The Lions might give Johnson a proposal that could both be a blessing for the team or a poison pill inside the dressing room. What would you think of this?

Johnson plays games on Sunday and then does not report to the team until Wednesday. He could stay home or fly to Atlanta to heal and clear his head. Johnson has missed a number of practices the past several years because of hand, knee and ankle issues. However, he almost always came to the practice facility in Allen Park for treatment or to be around the team.

Players report to the practice facility for treatment, massages and practice on Monday and are given Tuesday off. Johnson would miss just one day and could work out with the team Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This possible proposal has not been given to Johnson, but it could be deadly. How would players feel about a teammate who does not have to report for Monday workouts? In most cases players would not go for it. But if it is the difference between Johnson walking or staying, they might be fine with it because teammates respect Johnson and fully understand the pain Johnson endures during the season. The pain is so severe that it has him contemplating retirement.

It is not known if General Manager Bob Quinn or owner Martha Ford supports a deal like this. However, this would sound like something that Ford would endorse because she wants Johnson to return.

Lions General Manager Bob Quinn has yet to speak with Johnson, which is the right move. Let's give it time and see how he feels in a few weeks.

Agent Bus Cook said Johnson is contemplating what to do next.

"Nothing to report," Cook told The Detroit Free Press before Senior Bowl practice. "Have to wait and see. He has to think about what he's going to do and then go from there."
Later Cook said: "He's tired."

Cook has not spoken to Johnson in three weeks either, an indication that both parties realize Johnson must clear his head.

My guy definitely thought Johnson was leaving a few weeks ago. However, a man can change his mind. This does not mean he is returning. Does he want to go through training camp? Is the pain worth it?

There is also the sticky subject of restructuring his contract, which may not go well. Many obstacles remain. However, if you are a CJ fan the sun is shining a little brighter today.

(Foster can be reached at

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