NFL

Chad Johnson’s Insane Reason for Taking Viagra Before Games May Have Actually Worked

Chad Johnson had a flare for the dramatic and the eccentric during a standout NFL career.

At least Johnson, a star receiver who teamed up with Carson Palmer on the Cincinnati Bengals, spoke as much with his play as he did with his mouth. Johnson did strange things, but he was also one of the NFL’s top receivers for nearly a decade.

The possible secret to Johnson’s success, according to the ex-Pro Bowler, was Viagra. And everything considered, his insane reason for taking the drug may have paid off.

Chad Johnson was a star receiver in the 2000s

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A second-round pick out of Oregon State in 2001, Chad Johnson was one of the NFL’s most impressive receivers for nearly a decade.

After a 28-catch, 329-yard rookie season, Johnson moved into the starting lineup on a full-time basis in 2002. The Bengals, even in a down stretch, made the right move.

From 2002-10, Johnson caught 723 passes for 10,454 yards and 65 touchdowns in 139 games; that amounted to 80 receptions, 1,161 yards, and seven touchdowns per year.

Most of that work came in a dangerous three-headed monster involving him, No. 1 overall pick Carson Palmer, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, another receiver.

Johnson earned six Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections (and one second-team spot) with the Bengals. After a down year with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in 2011, Johnson never played a regular-season game again.

Johnson — or Ochocinco — was also flamboyant and eccentric

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Aside from Bengals fans and fantasy football players, few truly cared about what Chad Johnson did against man coverage or in a must-win game against an AFC North Division rival.

Many instead cared about his antics. Johnson was one of football’s best characters in his prime, whether he was conducting an interview or changing his last name from Johnson to Ochocinco.

Why the change? Ochocinco is a crude version of Johnson’s number, No. 85. “Ocho Cinco” means eight-five; if Johnson wanted his last name to truly be eighty-five, he would have made it “ochenta y cinco.”

Johnson’s love of gimmicks often led to fines from the league office. The All-Pro receiver forfeited $115,000 in his career, according to Spotrac.

The fines included using a pylon to putt the football, wearing a sombrero after scoring a touchdown, and taking a dollar bill onto the field during an official review.

Johnson also famously opened the 2007 season by wearing a yellow jacket, similar to those worn by Pro Football Hall of Fame members. The jacket read “Future H.O.F. 20??”

Johnson has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame as of 2020.

Chad Johnson recently explained why he took Viagra before games

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Although he hasn’t played a meaningful NFL down since Super Bowl 46, Chad Johnson has stayed busy and relevant through Twitter.

It was on Johnson’s favorite social media platform that he recently said he took Viagra, a drug for erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure, before games.

Johnson didn’t suffer from either of those problems. At least, if he did, he hasn’t revealed that yet. Instead, Johnson explained the “increase in blood flow made me unbelievable [sic] explosive in & out of my routes.”

This isn’t the first time Johnson’s been linked to the drug. A Twitter video went viral in October 2018 featuring Johnson talking with a Bengals coach.

The coach asked Johnson if he took anything before the game. Without hesitation, Johnson replied, “yeah, Viagra.”

As crazy as the thought of Johnson using the drug to boost his energy against defenses sound, he retired with excellent numbers. It certainly is possible he truly used Viagra to become an NFL great.

At this point, nothing should surprise anyone with what Chad Johnson does or did. He was, and remains, the king of strange gimmicks that somehow work in his favor.

All stats via Pro-Football-Reference