Lions defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson took a swipe at 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel in an escalation of a spat that began Monday when Gardner-Johnson trolled Samuel for his role in a pregame fight between the 49ers and Browns before San Francisco’s upset loss in Cleveland.
Garnder-Johnson took to Instagram Live amid the two players going back and forth on X.
“Don’t be friendly when you see me,” Gardner-Johnson said. “You better hope all that talk you’re doing when we see you all, whatever [playoff] round that may be — because I can guard you. You can’t run routes. You’re a running back. I ain’t gonna sit here and play with you, little boy.”
The feud comes one week after Samuels threw shade at Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons after Parsons called out 49ers tight end George Kittle for a “F**k Dallas” shirt Kittle wore during San Francisco’s 42-10 blowout win over the Cowboys.
Garnder-Johnson started the current beef with Samuel on Sunday by reposting an NFL on FOX video of the 49ers-Browns fight, implying that Samuel was running away from the Browns after instigating the fight until 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams arrived to back up his teammate.
Samuel responded Sunday night, threatening a repeat of when then-Bears wide receiver Javon Wims threw a punch at Gardner-Johnson during a game back when Gardner-Johnson was playing for the Saints.
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Gardner-Johnson responded Monday morning, taunting Samuel again for Williams intervening in the fight with the Browns, to which Samuel responded, “Stop making stuff up in your head.”
The two continued exchanging words on social media Monday, with Samuel saying Gardner-Johnson was “barely on the field or bouncing around on different teams.” Gardner-Johnson spent his first three NFL seasons with the Saints before getting traded to the Eagles in 2022, where he squared off against Samuel in the NFC Championship Game.
[Related: Eagles are Deebo Samuel’s ‘most hated’ opponents]
Gardner-Johnson also took a subtle dig at the 49ers by sharing Browns defensive back Greg Newsome II’s post sharing that Cleveland mimicked the 49ers’ walk-out with a boom box before the Browns’ upset over San Francisco.
Samuel has not yet responded since Gardner-Johnson’s latest escalation. He inserted himself into Parsons’ feud with Kittle last week by telling FanDuel TV that the next time San Francisco faces Dallas, the result “might be worse” for the Cowboys than the 49ers’ 32-point win on Sunday Night Football.
Both the 49ers and Lions are 5-1 heading into Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season. The 49ers are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl.
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