As if social media isn’t toxic on a frequent-enough basis, we have two grown-ass men who play in the NFL ready to throw down after a heated exchange on the X/Twitter platform.
Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson was feeling himself after watching Deebo Samuel’s San Francisco 49ers lose their first game of the season in Cleveland. CJGJ is down for the year with a torn pec (barring a miraculous playoff return). Deebo was forced out of action versus the Browns with a shoulder injury and has been banged up during the early part of the 2023 campaign.
Perhaps it’s a little bit of pent-up frustration from not being able to see the field as much as they’d like due to the brutal toll football takes on the body. I get that these guys are modern-day gladiators who need to have a certain competitive edge, mentality and streak of violence to play at a high level in the NFL.
…Which is why it’s pretty funny NGL to picture both of them fuming behind a phone or computer screen, clacking/thumbing away and getting into each others’ grills in a virtual sense.
I covered this 49ers-Browns scuffle yesterday, thinking Cleveland was acting like their typical, dysfunctional, idiotic selves by provoking the NFC juggernauts before the opening kickoff. Hand up, I was wrong: It galvanized the Browns into a stunning 19-17 upset (thanks to a missed 41-yard field goal by Jake Moody with six seconds left, but so what? A win’s a win).
Does the contact-seeking, backfield-aligning, physical dynamo after the catch that is Deebo Samuel really strike you as a guy who wouldn’t want any smoke? Especially if his teammates were threatened? Yeahno.
If Deebo bailed on the brawl, it might have something to do with the lingering rib and knee injuries he initially suffered in Week 3. Why risk aggravating those ailments before you take to the gridiron in earnest? Then lo and behold: Deebo got hurt again on Sunday whilst facing the Browns’ terrorizing defense.
To reiterate, I get that Gardner-Johnson has to occupy his time somehow. It’s gotta hurt not to be out there for the Lions amid their hot 5-1 start. Their defense is playing very well in their own right, with a stellar performance at Tampa Bay in a 20-6 statement win. C.J. was at least in a chipper mood about that.
Picking fights with Deebo Samuel would not be anywhere near the top of my list as far as ways to occupy my time while rehabbing an injury as a professional football player. That’s just me. I’m fully aware CJGJ has that dog in him. This seems extreme, however. Oh well. More power to him.
Let’s just hope Gardner-Johnson can heal in time for the playoffs. Chances are, the 5-1 Lions and 5-1 49ers will meet up in the postseason. If we put out into the universe that we want multiple matchups of a healthy Deebo and a healthy C.J. in the open field, perhaps it just might happen.