ESPN: Eagles' C.J. Gardner-Johnson out indefinitely with lacerated kidney

Gardner-Johnson was injured late in the first quarter Sunday.

ByTim McManus ESPN Staff Writer ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson will be sidelined indefinitely with a lacerated kidney, a league source confirmed.

A decision on whether to place him on injured reserve has not yet been made, the source added, as they work to establish a timetable for his return.

Gardner-Johnson was injured late in the first quarter Sunday on a collision across the middle with Packers receiver Christian Watson. He was doubled over in pain as he left the field before being carted inside and did not return to the game.

Gardner-Johnson was replaced in the lineup by undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship, who intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the red zone early in the second quarter.

The NFL Network was first to report on Gardner-Johnson's injury.

Philadelphia Eagles' C.J. Gardner-Johnson reacts after an injury during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Blankenship earned a spot on the team after a strong summer and filled in admirably Sunday night. Still, the loss of Gardner-Johnson is a significant one for the Eagles. He is the league leader in interceptions with six, serving as one of the top playmakers for an Eagles defense that is No. 1 in the NFL in takeaways with 23.

The Eagles acquired Gardner-Johnson from the New Orleans Saints in August along with a 2025 seventh-round draft pick, for a 2023 fifth-round draft pick and the latter of their two sixth-round draft picks in 2024.

Prior to that acquisition, safety was widely considered to be the most questionable position on an otherwise loaded roster.

Gardner-Johnson, 24, made a successful transition from slot corner to safety upon arriving in Philadelphia. He has 11 interceptions and 36 passes defensed over three-plus seasons with the Saints and Eagles.