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Lions fans expect C.J. Gardner Johnson to be most impactful player to return from IR

The results from the latest SB Nation Reacts survey are in and Detroit Lions fans have spoken.

NFL: SEP 07 Lions at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Tuesday, we polled Detroit Lions fans, asking them two questions for our latest SB Nation Reacts survey:

  1. Are you confident the Lions are headed in the right direction? (weekly poll)
  2. Which player do the Lions need to return from IR the most?

With regards to the first survey question, here are the results we have seen throughout the season:

After clinching the NFC North, fans’ confidence in the direction of the Lions climbed up another few notches, landing at 98% after Week 16. This isn’t quite the highest mark on the season, but it’s definitely in the range where the Lions have been living for the majority of the season.

As far as the second question—which player do the Lions need to return from IR the most?the votes were very close, with C.J. Gardner-Johnson coming away with the majority, narrowly beating out both Alim McNeill and James Houston.

Here are a few of the explanations from voters (lightly edited for clarity and ease of reading) in the comment section of the original article:

  • SuperBowlORdietrying: “Gardner J. Vocal leader. Playmaker. Wants to beat his former team. McNeill would be good, however, others need to step up, or otherwise, their ‘audition’ for next season’s roster is in jeopardy for certain.”
  • PDSX3: “CJGJ. I know we need more pass rush, but having him back there might allow us to use Branch on CB blitz without much sacrifice. I know his legs are still strong, not sure how strong Houston’s will be just coming back. Dline has been better the last few weeks so let Alim heal so he is ready for the playoffs.”
  • DrivingMrDrowsy: “This is an easy answer. CJGJ is a difference-maker, a leader, an enforcer, a playmaker, and a versatile defender who frees up other versatile defenders in BB and Iffy. MacNeill has been lights out this year, but CJGJ changes everything about the defense.”

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