The Detroit Lions' defense is getting an infusion of veteran talent back in the fold today as they host the Minnesota Vikings in the regular season finale at Ford Field. Defensive lineman Alim McNeill and defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson are off injured reserve and expected to play today against the Vikings.
McNeill has missed the last four games after suffering a knee sprain Dec. 30 in Detroit's win in New Orleans. McNeill is second on the Lions with 5.0 sacks and he's also chipped in 31 tackles (16 solo), nine quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He's stout against the run and gives the Lions an interior pass-rush presence.
Gardner-Johnson hasn't played since tearing his pectoral muscle Week 2 in a loss to Seattle. He had 13 tackles and two passes defended in two games before the injury. He gives defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn another veteran defensive back with the ability to take the football away (six interceptions in 12 games in 2022).
The Lions will be without wide receiver Jameson Williams, who is inactive today with an ankle injury he suffered last week in Dallas that prevented him from practicing all week. Williams has come on strong over the last three games catching 11 passes for 150 yards, including a 63-yard reception last week in Dallas. The hope is he's ready to go for Detroit's Wild Card playoff game at home next weekend.
Also inactive for Detroit today are edge rushers John Cominsky and Charles Harris. Cominsky didn't show up on Detroit's injury report this week, so his inactive status is either rest or a healthy scratch. With Gardner-Johnson and McNeill back on the roster, plus the elevations of defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and fullback Jason Cabinda from the practice squad, the Lions had some tough decisions to make on their active/inactive roster. Cominsky has 36 tackles and two sacks in 15 games played this season.
Also inactive for the Lions today are quarterback Hendon Hooker (emergency quarterback), tight end Brock Wright, cornerback Steven Gilmore and defensive lineman Brodric Martin.