The Lions are optimistic that the knee injury is not season-ending, per the Detroit Free Press.
Signing a one-year, $8 million deal with Detroit in free agency, Gardner-Johnson reunited with Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who was his defensive backs coach with the New Orleans Saints in 2019 and 2020. Joining a revamped Lions secondary with free-agent signings Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton, the trio was tasked with fortifying the Lions defense and ending the franchise's six-year playoff drought.
Gardner-Johnson tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions last year, and was expected to play a pivotal role in the Lions secondary in creating takeaways. With Gardner-Johnson out for the foreseeable future, Detroit has rookie second-round pick Brian Branch as his understudy at slot cornerback along with Kerby Joseph and Tracy Walker III at safety.