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Calvin Johnson opens up about NFL's shady painkiller past

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Recently retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson has caused a stir today after going into some detail about the prevalent use of painkillers during the early part of his NFL career.

The future Hall of Famer, speaking in a snippet of an E:60 interview released today ahead of the full broadcast this evening, admitted that those players who wanted to get their hands on painkillers could do so with ease:

"I guess my first half of my career before they really, you know, before they were like started looking over the whole industry, or the whole NFL, the doctors, the team doctors and trainers they were giving them out like candy, you know?," Megatron explain to ESPN's Michael Smith.


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"If you were hurting, then you could get 'em, you know. It was nothing.

"I mean, if you needed Vicodin, call out, 'My ankle hurt,' you know. 'I need, I need it. I can't, I can't play without it,' or something like that. It was simple.

"That's how easy it was to get 'em, you know. So if you were dependent on 'em, they were readily available," he continued.

Headline news

Johnson's retirement earlier this year came about due to his reluctance to fight through the pain he was in on a daily basis. His comments today reveal the scary way his situation may have been handled in years gone by.

His statement comes at a time, too, when the unregulated and improper use of painkillers in the NFL is in the headlines.

Only last week, we learnt that a lawsuit against NFL coaches and employees for recklessly pushing painkillers on players would be going to the trial phase after a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the case.

Fortunately, stricter regulations across the league looks to have stamped down on the painkiller becoming the go-to option for an injured NFL player in 2016. 

How much damage was caused during the seemingly carefree days of seasons past, however, only time will tell.

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