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Detroit Lions Hoping C.J Gardner-Johnson Can Make Strong Return from Long-Term Injury

The Detroit Lions are hopeful that injured safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson may recover from his torn pectoral muscle injury this season. The 25-year-old is set to have surgery, and the injury is one that usually takes three to four months to return from.

Gardner-Johnson lined up for the Lions in their week two loss to the Seattle Seahawks and is a key member of Dan Campbell’s set-up. Fans of Detroit who want to back them to do well this season should take a look at these Michigan sports betting insights ahead of any wager they may have planned.

Campbell was full of praise for the player and is desperate to have him back in action;

“He’s an impactful player, and his energy is infectious,” 

“And look, I hate it for him. I hate it for him, hate it for us, but man, this train doesn’t stop. And so, with that, I think him being around has definitely made guys better, those around him better.”

Commenting on the severity of the injury, Campbell added,

“Don’t quite know,”

“But I know that the reports that we’ve gotten back on it is that it was a very clean injury and that’s normally good for surgery, recovery, all of those things. So I certainly think that there’s a chance that we get him back.”

Gardner-Johnson took to social media to update his followers on his progress;

“I’ll be back,” 

“I’ve got to get my bag. I’ve got to lay down for a couple months. I’ll be back. I’ll catch you all.” He added.

The Lions won their opening game of the NFL season, beating reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, on their own patch, but then suffered a loss to the Seahawks in week two.

Campbell will look to Tracy Walker to replace Gardner-Johnson, stating of the defensive starter of the past four seasons;

“Having a guy like Tracy, who’s got time on task, somebody we got a lot of faith in, trust it, that alleviates a lot of pressure and stress for us, cause we know he’s game ready, he’s been in it, he hasn’t batted one eye at it,” 

“He just goes to work, and he does anything we ask him to do. He’s been playing special teams, been playing for us a little bit here so certainly he’s taken on a big role now. We have a ton of faith in Trace, so he’s another guy I’m glad he’s here with us.”

This is Campbell’s third season at the Ford Field franchise, and the development under the head coach has been progressing nicely on an upward curve. He joined a team that had suffered three successive losing record seasons and only managed a 3-13-1 campaign in 2021. 

However, in 2022, the Detroit Lions showed a marked improvement, securing a 9-8 season and narrowly missing out on a first postseason run since 2016, something Campbell will be looking to achieve this time around.