Lions defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson made comments this week that some took as a shot at Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, and today Mayfield fired back.
Gardner-Johnson complimented the Buccaneers’ wide receivers but implied they don’t have a good quarterback throwing them the ball.
“This group probably is one of the better groups we done faced all year,” Gardner-Johnson said. “If you give that Tampa group a good quarterback, that’s a great group. Evans, Godwin, Gage, that’s a great group. I played against them for real.”
Two things stood out about Gardner-Johnson’s comment. The first is the seeming implication that the Bucs’ receivers have not been given a good quarterback. The second is that in addition to mentioning a good pair of starting receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Gardner-Johnson mentioned Russell Gage, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp.
That provided an opening for Mayfield to respond.
“I don’t think he’s really watched film because he mentioned Russell Gage,” Mayfield said of Gardner-Johnson. “We love Russell but Russell hasn’t played a snap all year for us. He must be going off preseason stuff that the media was talking about. He didn’t play our first game so I’m excited to see him. I think he’s a really good player. He has been for a while. He’s been an impactful guy on every team he’s been on. So he’s a good player, but yeah, he’s got to do a little bit more film study.”
Mayfield and Gardner-Johnson can settle their differences on the field on Sunday.