December 03, 2022
The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Saturday that have placed NFL interception leader Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on injured reserve. Gardner-Johnson lacerated a kidney in the Eagles' win over the Green Bay Packers last Sunday night. He will miss a minimum of four games. The Eagles' next four games are as follows:
It's that last game in that four-game stretch where Gardner-Johnson's absence could be the most meaningful. Earlier this week we spoke with a urologist, who explained the unpredictability in pinning down precise timelines for recovery from kidney injuries. The Eagles evidently felt that Gardner-Johnson would not be healed in time for the team's trip to Dallas on Christmas Eve.
Undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship filled in for Gardner-Johnson against the Packers. He showed some good, and some bad (more good than bad) in that game, in case you missed our breakdown of him from earlier this week. We're going to get to know Blankenship well over the next month.
Taking Gardner-Johnson's place on the active roster will be DT Jordan Davis, who the team activated from injured reserve. Davis missed the last four games with an ankle injury suffered Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had meager stats through his first seven games (14 tackles, 1 batted pass), but he was effective in clogging up running lanes up the middle. In Davis' absence, the Eagles signed defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph to help out the Eagles' run defense. Joseph occupied the nose tackle role that Davis played almost exclusively through the first six games. Davis' role did expand in the game in which he got hurt, as he began getting snaps in some even-man fronts.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role the Eagles have in mind for Davis when he returns, given the extreme depth the Eagles have at defensive tackle, as Jonathan Gannon will have to juggle snaps between Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Milton Williams, Suh, Joseph, and now also Davis.
Joseph has played very well in the nose tackle role, and the team should probably just allow him to continue to play it. Davis could still play the nose some and keep Joseph's snap counts down, but the guess here is that his role will also expand a bit. His return comes just in time for the Birds' matchup against Derrick Henry and the run-heavy Titans.
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