Will C.J. Gardner-Johnson play vs. Vikings? Dan Campbell gives the latest

Will C.J. Gardner-Johnson play vs. Vikings? Dan Campbell gives the latest.

Will C.J. Gardner-Johnson play vs. Vikings? Dan Campbell gives the latest

On Friday, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell provided an update on safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson‘s injury status, suggesting that Gardner-Johnson might not be activated for the team's crucial Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Gardner-Johnson, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2, has made significant progress, returning to practice this week ahead of schedule.

Will C.J. Gardner-Johnson play vs. Vikings

What did Dan Campbell Say?

While Campbell acknowledged Gardner-Johnson's good form and freshness in practice, he emphasized the need for more practice sessions to ensure Gardner-Johnson is fully ready to return to high-level play.

“He's, you know, looked good. He looks fresh obviously, moving around pretty good,” Campbell said. “So it's really just about getting, we need to get him some more practices just to make sure he's ready to go, he's comfortable. We don't just throw him out there to the wolves. I mean, I don't necessarily see him going this week, but he's good. He's doing good.” 

Why it Matters

The decision seems to be made with a long-term perspective, prioritizing Gardner-Johnson's health and performance readiness over immediate game participation. Despite the initial six-month recovery timeline given by doctors, Gardner-Johnson's return to practice just over three months post-surgery is a positive sign. However, the Lions face a critical decision in the coming weeks, whether to reinstate Gardner-Johnson to the 53-man roster or keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

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TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Detroit Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, recovering from a torn pectoral injury, has shown improvement in recent practices but is still not fully game-ready.
  2. Head Coach Dan Campbell emphasizes the need for additional practice and preparation before Gardner-Johnson can safely return to play, likely ruling him out for the upcoming game against the Minnesota Vikings.
  3. The Lions face a crucial decision on Gardner-Johnson's season status, weighing his speedy recovery against the need for complete rehabilitation and the team's strategic requirements.

The Bottom Line – Prudence Over Pressure

The Detroit Lions‘ approach to C.J. Gardner-Johnson's injury recovery is a testament to the team's commitment to player wellbeing. While his absence against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 may be felt on the field, the decision by Dan Campbell and the Lions' medical staff to prioritize Gardner-Johnson's complete recovery and readiness showcases a responsible and player-first mindset.