NFL: The Green Bay Packers are undergoing an eventful off-season, to say the least. In just a few short months the face of the franchise has completely changed. The Packers aren’t the only NFC North team undergoing a significant off-season. The Bears traded the number one overall pick for a massive haul, the Vikings have moved on from key starters on offense in Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen, and the Detroit Lions have more confidence than ever in their ability to compete for a division title. However, the Detroit Lions just had a key starter go down with a brutal non-contact injury.
Detroit Lions’ Starting CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson Goes Down With A Brutal Knee Injury (NFL)
Detroit Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson suffered a potentially serious non-contact knee injury during Monday morning’s NFL training camp practice at Allen Park. He could not put pressure on his right leg, laid on the ground in agony and was eventually carted off the field. Gardner-Johnson’s teammates were shaken up in the immediate aftermath of the injury:
“It’s hard to see your brothers go down. You never want to see it, especially early in camp or really any days, regardless of the position or the player,” cornerback Cameron Sutton told ESPN after practice. “It’s kind of hard to detail. All you can do is send up prayers.”
Last season, with the Philadelphia Eagles, Gardner-Johnson finished tied for the most interceptions in the NFL (six) despite missing five games with a lacerated kidney. He became the only Eagles player since the 1970 merger to record interceptions in five consecutive games.
What Does This Mean For The Green Bay Packers And The Rest Of the NFC North?
The Detroit Lions are somewhat thin at the cornerback position already. Emmanuel Mosley, Cameron Sutton, and Jerry Jacobs figure to be the three other starting cornerbacks for the Lions going into 2023. Losing one of their premier free agent acquisitions won’t bode well for their pass defense.
Detroit earned the worst PFF overall defensive grade at just 44.0. The Lions finished 31st in scoring defense and 29th in yards allowed. The injury-ravaged secondary really struggled in coverage for much of the season. Only the Texans finished with a lower PFF coverage grade.
If one thing will derail the Lions’ chances at winning the NFC North, it will be their defensive play. This injury does not bode well for those chances.
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