“Gardner-Johnson is fine. Maybe the Lions are no longer cursed.” – Terry Foster
Lion’s coach Dan Campbell appeared more at ease during Wednesday’s opening day press conference. All was right in the kingdom again.
The secondary that General Manager Brad Holmes worked diligently to cobble together was whole again. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson pounded the ground in excruciating pain the day before after injuring his knee on a non-contact drill.
The worst fears hit Detroit. One of the leaders appeared to be in trouble.
And other leaders – quarterback Jared Goff and defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs – hovered over him to give words of encouragement. This is usually the kiss of death toward a bad injury.
It looked like he’d be out for a while. But Campbell announced that Gardner-Johnson was fine. This was no season-ending injury as many feared. He will be back on the practice field soon flashing that swagger he showed last season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“It appears that he is going to be OK,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t appear to be anything serious. The images look pretty good. He might be out a day or two.”
The Lions avoided a gaping hole in their defense. This leaves me with one thought. Some are racking their brains debating whether the Lions are real. Are they a franchise poised to make a run?
Believe the hype. The Lions are not only real. But this latest incident is proof positive they are also blessed. This is a franchise that had a player die on the field, another paralyzed on the field and another who was hit by a truck while mowing his lawn.
Lady luck now embraces the Lions after giving them the middle finger for decades.
“Obviously hearing the news now you feel a lot better about it,” Campbell said.
Gardner-Johson, 25, was a key pieced signed by the Lions to revamp a porus secondary. He led the NFL in interceptions (6) for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. He should bring more confidence to the secondary because he talks a big game and plays a big game.
“I think he brings a lot of confidence to that DB room,” left tackle Taylor Decker said. “I mean, that guy, is a talker and that’s what DBs do. He’s gonna make those guys around him better and he’s a confident player.”
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK