Philadelphia Eagles Safety Placed on Injured Reserve

The Philadelphia Eagles will officially be without one of the stars of their dominant secondary for at least four games. The team officially placed safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson on injured reserve due to a lacerated kidney.

Gardner-Johnson suffered the kidney injury during a crunching hit in the Eagles' 40-33 Sunday Night Football victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 12. He had totalled one tackle on 11 defensive snaps in the game.

Gardner-Johnson's unavailability is a disappointing development in what has been a charmed season for the 10-1 Eagles. The fourth-year safety leads the league with six interceptions and is a big reason why the Eagles rank first in net yards per passing attempt allowed and first in takeaways. His absence will likely cost them some big plays in the secondary over the crucial final stretch of the regular season.

Gardner-Johnson joined the Eagles earlier this year via trade with the New Orleans Saints. He has wildly outperformed a modest investment from the Eagles, but their bargain could be short-lived: he's set to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of this season. He could be in line for a franchise tag or a long-term deal that would place him among the league's highest-paid safeties.

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