C.J. Gardner-Johnson is “out indefinitely” after suffering a lacerated kidney during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 12 win over the Green Bay Packers, according to a report from NFL insider Tom Pelissero.
Pelissero adds that CJGJ’s recovery timetable is still being determined but it is “not expected to be season-ending.”
CJGJ was clearly in a lot of pain after laying a big hit on Christian Watson on Sunday night. He was down on the field for some time before very slowly walking off the field and immediately being carted inside.
There is not yet an indication that CJGJ will go on injured reserve. If he does, he will automatically miss at least the Eagles’ next four games:
- Week 13 vs. Tennessee Titans
- Week 14 at New York Giants
- Week 15 at Chicago Bears
- Week 16 at Dallas Cowboys
For what it’s worth, the starting safety posted a picture on his official Instagram account with the caption: “Passionate about what I do, I’ll Be Back!”
The Eagles being without CJGJ is obviously not ideal. As the NFL’s interceptions leader, he’s made a number of big plays for the defense. The Birds are also not exactly brimming with safety depth.
That said, Reed Blankenship did show promise in his first extended NFL action. He became the first undrafted rookie free agent to EVER pick off Aaron Rodgers. Blankenship did also play a part in giving up a long touchdown catch to Christian Watson and got banged up towards the end of the game, forcing K’Von Wallace to see snaps. Blankenship had only leapfrogged Wallace on the depth chart the week prior.
And so the Eagles will move forward with Blankenship while they hope CJGJ is able to recover. Even if he is able to return at some point, though, one must wonder how close to 100% he will be after such a serious and painful injury.
CJGJ is now just one of multiple key players to get hurt in recent weeks. The Eagles also notably have Dallas Goedert, Avonte Maddox, and Jordan Davis on injured reserve. The team will hope to have them back in time for the playoffs at the very latest but it’s possible they’ll be activated sooner than that.