Through the first nine weeks of Dancing with the Stars season 23 (!), former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson has looked like he’s been entirely happy to get away from the NFL. (Some might say he’s happy to be away from the Lions.) But Monday’s episode had a Broadway show theme, so Johnson and partner Lindsay Arnold were assigned a routine based on Cats and went to New York to briefly train with the cast.

That allowed the former Lion to channel the inner beast (or his “bestiality,” as Josh Norman might put it) that he suppressed once he retired from the NFL. Well… sort of.

OK, more of a Tiger there. Johnson actually looked like a confused kitty when he found that he was supposed to put on his “dance belt” (basically a jockstrap) underneath his onesie. But hey, maybe Megatron was used to playing au naturel on the football field. (We’ll never know, and he’ll surely never say.)

Johnson has been pretty successful on the show this season, with the nimble feet that made him an elite wide receiver allowing him to perform some fancy footwork on the ballroom floor. But he has some Broadway star in him too, especially when it comes to shaking his hips.

Though Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown was one of the three finalists on last season’s show, do you think he secretly wishes that he got to dress up as a Cats performer when he was on Dancing with the Stars?

Johnson did not perform Monday night in his full Cats outfit Monday night. But if you want to see the waltz he danced with Arnold to “Memory” (sang by Leona Lewis), here it is:

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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