As the Detroit Lions took the field on a rainy Saturday practice, it was another day of mixed-bag news on the injury front. Remarkably, defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson returned to practice just five days after going down with a scary-looking leg injury. However, the Lions were missing two pieces of their offensive line, with Penei Sewell and Halapoulivaati Vaitai sidelined for practice.
Let’s break down all of the injury updates one-by-one.
Gardner-Johnson was limited in practice, but was seen moving around pretty well. Given how bad the injury looked on Monday, that is huge progress for the veteran defensive back.
“Just to get back there and get in the flow with the rest of those DBs, get in the backend with communication—that’s always going to be important,” coach Dan Campbell said prior to practice. “So it will be good at any capacity to get him back out there.”
Gardner-Johnson talked with the media after practice, but chose not to answer any questions about the injury, but he did talk about staying mentally prepared, even in the three practices he didn’t play in.
“I was at practice every day. I was mentally at practice,” Gardner-Johnson said. “I don’t think you understand what type of guy you got here. I ain’t miss nothin’. I ain’t miss a practice, I ain’t miss a rep, I’m still out there.”
Sewell was in street clothes at practice on Saturday, but we did not get any information why. It’s worth noting that Sewell talked to the media after Friday’s practice—which is usually a sign a player is in good health. This could just be a rest day for the franchise right tackle.
Vaitai was also sidelined with Sewell, but his injury could be of more concern. Vaitai missed Wednesday’s practice after taking a blow to the back. He returned on Friday in a limited fashion. But taking a step back on Saturday cannot be good news for the veteran lineman.
Graham Glasgow continues to get reps as the starting right guard, and he has impressed his head coach.
“He’s a veteran guy that – he’s smart, he handles his business and he’s going to be reliable,” Campbell said. “He’s gone in there and done a nice job at guard.”
The Lions rookie receiver left Friday’s practice early, and did not return on Saturday. Campbell confirmed he was dealing with heat exhaustion.
“Yeah, he got a little overheated. He’s not going to go today.”
Green was out there with his teammates, but did not go through any drills.
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin appeared to be dealing with a lower-body injury late in practice. I did not see him leave the field, but I didn’t see him return to practice, either.
- EDGE James Houston left the field around the same time as the Reeves-Maybin injury. He did return to the field, but I did not see him put his helmet back on or return to action.
- QB Hendon Hooker (NFI)
- WR Jameson Williams
- WR Marvin Jones Jr. (NFI)
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (PUP)
No new updates from any of these players. Although both Marvin Jones Jr. and Hendon Hooker were moving pretty good before and after practice.