Reports: Lions S CJ Gardner-Johnson (pec) could miss season

Field Level Media

September 19, 2023 at 2:06 am.

Losses are piling up for the Detroit Lions since taking their first defeat of the season on Sunday.

Among key personnel expected to miss time are safety CJ Gardner-Johnson, running back David Montgomery and pass rusher James Houston.

Gardner-Johnson posted a picture of himself in uniform facing his locker with the caption “won’t be long.”

A few minutes later, he changed the caption to only a Honolulu blue heart as reports circulated that Gardner-Johnson was out for the rest of the season with torn pectoral muscle.

Earlier Monday, the Lions said Houston was headed to injured reserve with a right ankle injury and Montgomery is dealing with a quad injury he said Monday will take “a couple of weeks” to heal.

Houston left Ford Field on Sunday wearing a boot on his right foot, and surgery could be a consideration for what is reportedly a fractured ankle.

Coach Dan Campbell said Houston would be out “for a while” in his postgame update Sunday. NFL Network reported Monday that Houston’s ankle is fractured, with a recovery window of six to eight weeks.

Campbell called Gardner-Johnson the “heartbeat” of the Lions’ defense.

Gardner-Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal to join the Lions in free agency. He played for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles last season and was previously with Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn when Gardner-Johnson began his career with the Saints.

Houston, 24, didn’t become a regular until late November last season, and he wound up posting eight sacks in seven games. In Week 1 of the 2023 season, he had a 30 percent pass-rush win rate at Kansas City.

The 2022 sixth-round draft pick left the Sunday loss to Seattle after posting one tackle.

Montgomery, 26, also left Sunday’s game, getting carted off at the start of the fourth quarter with a thigh bruise. He did not return after rushing for 67 yards and a score. Montgomery has started both games this season, rushing for 141 yards and two TDs.

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