Whenever the cart comes out to take a key starter off the field, the biggest fear is he’s out for the year. That doesn’t appear to be the case for Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. He’s dealing with a lacerated kidney, per NFL Media’s Tom Peliserro, and has additional tests scheduled.
Gardner-Johnson crouched to his knees and appeared to be in serious pain after colliding with Christian Watson on Sunday Night Football. He left the game and never returned. According to Peliserro, the 24-year-old has a “non-surgical injury” that won’t cause him to miss the rest of the season. No immediate timeline was given for his return. Gardner-Johnson has a league-leading six interceptions through 11 games. He came over to Philadelphia from New Orleans in a surprise post-training camp trade.
Head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed that Gardner-Johnson was due to undergo further testing, adding that it was more than just a rib injury.
“Still working through that, still running tests and seeing what’s going on,” Sirianni told reporters, “so don’t have any new information for you yet, besides something in his rib area, in that midsection.”
There is actually no rib fracture, per The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. The Eagles haven’t decided whether to put him on injured reserve at this point. Undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship stepped in for Gardner-Johnson on Sunday and played incredibly well in relief.
“Hopefully not, but we’re not there yet,” Sirianni said about IR. “I know he was in some pain yesterday [Sunday] after he took that hit.”
Jordan Davis Injury Update: ‘Not There Yet’
Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis is eligible to come off injured reserve from his high ankle sprain. The Eagles would have to open up the 21-day practice window to start the process on his return. Sirianni remained guarded when asked how Davis was progressing and whether he might hit the practice field on Wednesday.
“Not in a big rush to force something until we have all the answers and see how he’s feeling,” Sirianni told reporters. “I know he’s attacking the rehab like crazy. I know our training staff and our doctors and our strength staff are doing everything they can do to help him, and I know Jordan is doing everything he can do to help himself.”
Davis is no longer using crutches and the walking boot is off his injured right foot. He was seen jogging out of the tunnel on Sunday night, then showed up to take in the Sixers-Hawks game on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center. He was in good spirits sitting next to Nakobe Dean.
Darius Slay Looking at Bigger Picture
The Eagles own the best record in football at 10-1. This marks the fifth time the franchise has gotten off to a 10-1 start. The others: 2017 Super Bowl (won), 2004 Super Bowl (lost), 1980 Super Bowl (lost), 1949 NFL Championship (won). Cornerback Darius Slay is enjoying the ride while staying focused on the bigger picture.
“My big picture is still here, for this same moment. I’ve never been 10-1, so this still is my big picture,” Slay said. “I don’t know how I feel but I know I’m going to turn up. I’ve never been 10-1 so continue to live it up.”