Report: Eagles' C.J. Gardner-Johnson Out Indefinitely with Lacerated Kidney

Adam WellsNovember 29, 2022

Philadelphia Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (23) in action during the NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

The Philadelphia Eagles will be without cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson after he suffered a lacerated kidney during Sunday's 40-33 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Gardner-Johnson will be out indefinitely and testing is still ongoing, but he won't need surgery and isn't expected to miss the rest of the season.

Gardner-Johnson was injured in the first quarter when he delivered a big hit to Packers wide receiver Christian Watson. He fell to a knee afterward and walked to the sidelines before being carted to the locker room for evaluation.

The Eagles announced at the start of the third quarter that Gardner-Johnson was ruled out for the rest of the game with a rib injury.

Reed Blankenship took over at safety for the remainder of the game. He picked off Aaron Rodgers early in the second quarter and finished with a season-high six combined tackles.

A rookie out of Middle Tennessee State, Blankeship did have some rough moments in his first extended playing time. He was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter and got beat on Watson's 63-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

Losing Gardner-Johnson for any length of time is significant for the Eagles secondary. The 24-year-old leads the NFL with six interceptions, ranks third on the team with eight pass breakups and has four tackles for loss in 11 starts.

Blankenship had primarily been playing on special teams coming into Week 12. He had just two snaps with the defense all season before replacing Gardner-Johnson. The 23-year-old finished with 35 defensive snaps against the Packers.

The Eagles do benefit from having the NFL's best record (10-1) and a two-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. They can play things slow with Gardner-Johnson if they want to because they are a safe bet to at least make the playoffs already.

Philadelphia will host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday before embarking on a three-game road trip against the New York Giants (Dec. 11), Chicago Bears (Dec. 18) and Cowboys (Dec. 24).