CJ Gardner-Johnson, one of the Detroit Lions’ top offseason signings, is reported to have suffered an injury at training camp.
According to multiple reports, Gardner-Johnson injured his right leg during Monday’s light practice and had to be wheeled off the field when he failed to put pressure on it. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that it was a non-contact injury.
veteran #lions DB CJ Gardner-Johnson suffered a right leg injury on Monday and was taken off the field. He was visibly upset, and team captains Baggs and Goff decided to comfort him. Hoping for better news than it seemed.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 24, 2023
Not the best scene from day 2 #lions camp as DB CJ Gardner-Johnson was taken off the practice field with a right leg injury. He was injured during a light team practice and was unable to apply force to his leg. Afterwards, Jared Goff and several teammates came to check on him.
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) July 24, 2023
Gardner-Johnson, 26, signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Lions in March after helping the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles go all the way to the Super Bowl (where they lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs). Last season, he threw six steals, tied for the NFL lead, and went on a five-game streak catching one steal per game. This is even more impressive when you consider that he missed five games during the season with a ruptured kidney.
As their defense was a major issue in the 2023 season, the Lions brought in Gardner-Johnson, a major upgrade to take their newly revamped minor team to the next level. It was expected to be their top nickel this season.
Gardner-Johnson is expected to receive additional credit. Fingers crossed by Lions fans (and the team itself) that this no-contact injury turned out to be better than it sounds.