Eagles' starting safety leaves Packers game in 1st quarter


Eagles starting safety and NFL interceptions leader C.J. Gardner-Johnson suffered a ribs injury in the first quarter and needed to be carted inside.

Gardner-Johnson was initially listed as questionable to return but was ruled out early in the second half.

Gardner-Johnson, 24, delivered a big hit on Packers receiver Christian Watson on the tail end of a 3rd-down conversion but it was Gardner-Johnson who took the brunt of it.

After the collision, Gardner-Johnson was in a ton of pain as trainers checked him out on the field. He was out there long enough that head coach Nick Sirianni came out to check on him. After Gardner-Johnson walked to the sideline hunched over and in obvious pain, he got on a cart and was taken inside.

Without Gardner-Johnson, the Eagles inserted undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship into the lineup instead of former fourth-round pick K’Von Wallace. Last week, Blankenship got the first two defensive snaps of his NFL career last week in Indianapolis.

The Eagles acquired Gardner-Johnson just before the start of the season and he’s played well. He leads the NFL in interceptions with six and had five straight games with at least one. That streak came to an end last week in Indianapolis.

On the season, Gardner-Johnson has started every game. Coming into Sunday, he had 59 tackles, 1 sack, 6 interceptions, 4 TFLs and 8 pass breakups.

Gardner-Johnson, who was a nickel cornerback with the Saints before the trade, is a free agent after this season.

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