‘Mutant genes’: Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson medically cleared to practice

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Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson has been medically cleared to practice for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 2, head coach Dan Campbell told reporters Thursday.

Gardner-Johnson, one of the Lions’ key free-agent signings last offseason, tore his pectoral muscle in Detroit’s Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He’s been on injured reserve since then.

“It’s great news,” Campbell said, via the Detroit Free-Press. “He’s one of the X-Men. He’s got these mutant genes, because he has healed extremely quickly. And it is, he’s gotten the strength back, it is secure, and so yeah, he’s going to be ready to go here pretty soon.”

Campbell said he and general manager Brad Holmes have yet to hammer out the specifics of Gardner-Johnson’s return timeline, and the veteran will not play Saturday when the Lions face Campbell’s mentor Sean Peyton and the Denver Broncos. 

Gardner-Johnson is in his fifth NFL season and his first with the Lions after playing for the New Orleans Saints for three years and the Philadelphia Eagles last season. He had 13 total tackles in two games this season before his injury.

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