Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson ruled out vs Dallas Cowboys

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The Detroit Lions have ruled out starting safety CJ Gardner-Johnson for Saturday night’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The former Florida Gator is dealing with a pectoral injury that had him limited in practice all week. On the Lions’ Thursday injury report, Gardner-Johnson was listed as ‘out’ for the Week 17 game, along with tight end Brock Wright and linebacker James Houston.

The Lions opened the 21-day practice windows for Gardner-Johnson and Houston but the injured defensive duo won’t play against the Cowboys on Saturday. Instead, they’ll take another week off with the hopes of returning for Week 18 against the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit, at 11-4, has already clinched a spot in the playoffs. They won their first divisional title since 1993 on Sunday, taking down the Vikings 30-24.

Gardner-Johnson, a former fourth-round draft pick for the Saints, has played in just two games this season. He recorded 13 tackles, including three tackles for loss, before tearing his pectoral muscle and moving to Injured Reserve for the majority of the season. James Houston also suffered an injury (ankle) and moved to IR after two games. Last season, as a rookie, Houston had eight sacks for Detroit.

The Lions had a third defender on the injury report on Thursday. Cornerback Cameron Sutton popped up late in the week on the injury report and is now listed as questionable with a toe injury. In 16 games last season with the Steelers, Sutton snatched three interceptions and racked up 43 total tackles.

Dallas Cowboys Thursday Injury report

As the Lions deal with injuries on defense, the Dallas Cowboys are grappling with injuries on offense this week. Left tackle Tyron Smith and offensive lineman Chuma Edoga are both questionable heading into Saturday’s matchup against Detroit. Smith missed last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins while Edoga played limited snaps before exiting with a toe injury.

“They both completed the walk-through, so that was good,” head coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday afternoon. “At practice tomorrow, they will both be, at best, limited reps. Once we get done with tomorrow, we’ll have a pretty good gauge. We feel pretty good about it.”

Going into Friday’s practices, the Cowboys have already ruled out defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and running back Rico Dowdle with ankle injuries. Hankins is on track to miss his third game in a row as the Cowboys look to avoid a third consecutive loss this weekend.

With Smith and Edoga banged up, Dallas could turn to newly healthy tackle Matt Waletzko, as well as rookie Asim Richards.

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