Has Calvin Johnson Played With A Partially Torn PCL Since October?

Back in Week 5, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson sustained a knee injury that kept him out of a game against Green Bay. A few days later, we received a tip:

I have a close friend who went to the Detroit Lions' doctor to get reconstructive knee surgery, and the doctor told my friend Megatron's injury is a partially torn PCL.

Now, you can disregard this e-mail because I'm just a guy on the internet, but I can guarantee you it's true. Just letting you guys know.

The posterior cruciate ligament acts a sort of stabilizer, affecting how far you can bend your knee, and with how much force. A PCL injury is usually less painful than one to the ACL; often, it doesn't even require surgery. Every case is different: Back in 2007, Reggie Bush reportedly played for a month with a PCL tear, but Felix Jones missed three games with a PCL sprain in 2009. Depending on the grade and the severity, pain and swelling can go away within a few weeks, but the long-term instability is the bigger factor, and to clear that up, you need rest or surgery, neither of which you're getting if you're trying to play a full NFL season.

We bring this up now because there's talk of the Lions shutting Megatron down. Last night's loss to the Giants officially eliminated them from the playoffs. It seems useless to send your best player into a meaningless Week 17 game, particularly when he's been playing on a wobbly leg. Coach Jim Schwartz was non-committal in a press conference:

Photo: AP