This post is sponsored by Sprint.
Since the Lions were on a bye last week, I am going to do two posts where I hand out a Sprint Game Ball for Detroit's win over the Redskins. The first goes to Calvin Johnson, who was an obvious choice for the honor. Johnson had a great game, catching nine passes for 101 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Just based on his stats alone he would have likely received this award, but the reason Johnson was such an obvious choice is because he is still dealing with a shoulder injury. Jim Schwartz said on Monday that Johnson's injured shoulder is not doing all that well, and it showed last Sunday. Multiple times Johnson took a hard hit and had to take himself out of the game for a play, which was always concerning to see. Johnson fought through the pain and toughed it out, though, because he was right back on the field a play or two later. That toughness was big for the Lions, as it kept arguably their top offensive weapon on the field. For Johnson, that toughness allowed him to put up big numbers despite clearly being in some pain.
During his career, Johnson has received a lot of criticism for not being tough enough. He has been banged up a lot, which is why that criticism has been out there. Some people just didn't think he was tough enough to play through the pain of an injury and gut it out for his team, but it's clear that Johnson proved those people wrong last Sunday. He may have been hurt, but he stayed in the game and still put on a show, helping the Lions beat Washington, 37-25.