In the wake of the Week 17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Dan Campbell was on a unique level during his press conference on Monday. But it was also time to move on, and the Lions' head coach was clearly ready to move on despite questions being asked about it.
Part of business during a Monday press conference, usually the day after a game, is any injury updates. The Lions have plenty of interesting situations on that front as the playoffs get closer, and Campbell had updates.
Detroit Lions injury updates
Going one by one on a player-by-player basis, here's what Campbell said (h/t to Pride of Detroit).
Campbell was asked if Gardner-Johnson would return for the game against the Vikings in Week 18.
"We’d love to. Love to get C.J. involved,” Campbell said.
It was somewhat surprising Gardner-Johnson wasn't activated from IR for the game against the Cowboys. He continues to tease that he's near a return on social media, but the Lions always take it slowly with major injury situations.
The Lions have a little over a week left to activate Gardner-Johnson before his 21-day window expires. If he's not activated for next Sunday's game, his season will surely be over.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported McNeill traveled with the team to Dallas for the Week 17 game. His minimum four-game stay on IR with a knee injury he suffered against the Saints in Week 13 is now expired, but he also has not practiced since being injured.
Apparently unprompted as he addressed Gardner-Johnson's status, Campbell brought up McNeill.
"Love to get Mac ( McNeill) involved,” Campbell added. " I think there’s a shot he plays (in Week 18), yeah I do, I do” Campbell said.
Williams suffered an ankle injury on the Lions' longest offensive play against the Cowboys, a 63-yard bomb from Jared Goff. He went to the locker room to fuel greater concern and was unable to return to the game, so Campbell was naturally asked about him on Monday.
"He’s doing alright,” Campbell said. “I mean, he’s got a little bit of an ankle (injury), but it’ll be day-to-day right now. But nothing significant.”
Kyle Meinke of MLive spotted LaPorta and Williams walking out of the locker room after the game against Dallas with heavy limps. Campbell didn't get into what was bothering the rookie tight end, but the short answer said enough.
“He’s good. He’s good,”
Campbell also mentioned fullback Jason Cabinda, who was activated from IR last week but subsequently waived last Friday. It seems the plan is to bring Cabinda back, and Campbell said he hoped so.
Campbell notably did not mention James Houston on Monday. The second-year edge rusher returned to practice last Thursday, which opened his 21-day return window to come off IR from a fractured ankle. Ideally, he'd be able to get some game action before the playoffs.