Philadelphia Eagles starting safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson is out indefinitely with a lacerated kidney. While the team weighs a decision whether to put him on injured reserve, a retired Super Bowl champion at the position might be lobbying for a return. Three-time Pro Bowler Malcolm Jenkins recently revealed he has enough left in the tank for a December playoff run.
The 34-year-old retired safety told NBC Sports’ John Clark that it wouldn’t be “far-fetched” to see him back in a midnight green jersey. His comments came before Gardner-Johnson got hurt, but obviously ring truer now with the defensive playmaker on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t think y’all need me, to be honest, so I’ll just be here in spirit. But you know, if you ask me that later in December, I don’t know,” Jenkins told Clark. “I can still play, if that’s what you’re asking me, I can still play. I’m still in shape, I’m still working out, it’s not far-fetched. I’m still in it. But, you know, I do enjoy my seat watching as a fan, but I could come in for a stretch.”
It’s no secret how much the Eagles’ organization values Jenkins. General manager Howie Roseman called Jenkins to find out if Gardner-Johnson would be able to handle the pressure of playing in a football-obsessed town like Philadelphia before trading for him. Needless to say, Jenkins gave Roseman his seal of approval. Those two had been teammates for two seasons in New Orleans.
“Philly’s going to love him,” Jenkins told The Inquirer. “All the things that they love to see, somebody who’s going to fight, somebody who’s not afraid of anybody, plays the game hard, he’s going to check every single box.”
Josiah Scott, Reed Blankenship Earning Trust
The Eagles don’t necessarily have to make any drastic moves on defense. They have been getting solid contributions up and down the roster thanks to their next-man-up mentality.
Josiah Scott has been filling in admirably for injured nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox, while Reed Blankenship wowed in fill-in duty for C.J. Gardner-Johnson on Sunday night. Head coach Nick Sirianni talked at length about the faith he has in those two guys moving forward.
“You have that faith in them that they’re going to go out and perform and do the things they need to do to help us win,” Sirianni told reporters. “I think Josiah was able to do that at times last year for us, so we’ve seen that. He was also great on special teams for us all last year, and continuing into this year.
“So sometimes you don’t get to see that live unless it is on special teams. Every time Reed has had an opportunity to play and perform, he’s done a really good job.”
Nick Sirianni Hands Out 4 Game Balls
Sirianni handed out four game balls following Sunday night’s 40-33 win over Green Bay. The first one went to the offensive line as a collective unit for paving the way for 363 yards on the ground. The next one went to (no surprise) quarterback Jalen Hurts, then Sirianni flipped game balls to receiver Quez Watkins and safety Reed Blankenship.
“It’s a great reminder of what makes a team go,” Sirianni said. “We’re for each other. Star in your role. You never know when it’s going to change, and it was awesome to see that – we don’t want to see anyone get hurt – but it was awesome to see those guys step in and make plays, that’s what great teams do, and we’re on our way. One week at a time, one play at a time.”