3. DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson
Gardner-Johnson has only played two games this season, and it's at best unclear if he'll be able to recover from his torn pectoral and return this year. No matter how far the Lions go, with the Super Bowl still only five months removed from his injury.
Gardner-Johnson was a bargain signing for the Lions in free agency last offseason (one year, $6.5 million), coming off tying for the league lead with six interceptions for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022. He arrived with a reputation as a versatile, trash-talking, tone-setting ball hawk in the secondary. The Lions embraced and needed all of that from him right off the bat. The injury took that away two games in, and he played most of that second game with the injury.
Over their last six games, the Lions have just five takeaways. They have just 12 takeaways all season, leading to a -5 turnover differential, with (similar to their sack production so far) five of those coming in two games.
From the moment he signed, it felt pretty certain Gardner-Johnson's stay in Detroit would be more than one year. Now, if anything and all things considered, it's just about a 100 percent lock.