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Stevie Johnson Elaborates On Ryan Fitzpatrick's Rib Injury

One story line that won't go away this off-season has been the rib injury that Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick apparently played with for more than half of the 2011 season. Those cracked ribs had a major impact on Fitzpatrick on the field, according to receiver Stevie Johnson.

"I know personally, in the huddle, the worst it got - to my knowledge - is he barely could say a full play under one breath," Johnson told the Toronto Sun on Monday.

Just before Super Bowl XLVI, David Nelson told Doug Flutie that Fitzpatrick had suffered cracked ribs in a Week 8 win over Washington, and that he played the remainder of the season with that injury affecting his play. Fitzpatrick has been asked about this several times, each time refusing to get into detail or admit that the injury was a problem for him. Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey have also largely skirted around the issue, likely because Fitzpatrick was only listed on one injury report last season.

As this story continues to get fleshed out, are Bills fans beginning to cut Fitzpatrick some slack for his second-half performance last year? Let's hear it, Bills fans.