The Times Herald (Norristown, PA)
Gardner-Johnson injured in game against Packers
PHILADELPHIA >> Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who leads the NFL with six interceptions, was helped off the field late in the first quarter Sunday night with what the club is calling a rib injury.
Johnson (5-10, 210) may also have suffered a stinger while crashing into Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (6-5, 210), who caught a 21-yard pass to convert a fourth-and-five for the Packers on the play.
Gardner-Johnson was flat on his back for considerable time while the medical staff checked him out, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni joining them on the field. Gardner-Johnson needed assistance to reach the sideline.
Watson’s reception set up Aaron Rodgers’ 11-yard scoring pass to Randall Cobb, giving the Packers a 14-13 lead over the Eagles at that time. The Eagles went on to take a 27-20 halftime lead via a Jalen Hurts TD pass to Quez Watkins with 13 seconds left in the second quarter. The game was still ongoing at press time.
Hugh Douglas and Trent Cole, two of the most prolific pass rushers in the history of the Eagles, served as honorary captains when their team opposed the Packers Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
Douglas, 51, collected 54.5 of his 80 career sacks in six seasons with the Eagles from 19982002 and 2004. He also played for the Jets and Jaguars.
Cole, 40, registered 85.5 of his 90.5 career sacks with the Eagles from 2005-14. The fifth-round pick of the Birds also played two seasons with the Colts.
Douglas and Cole were inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame at halftime.
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The Eagles deactivated the usual guys in quarterback Ian Book, cornerback Josh Jobe, running back Trey Sermon and guards Josh Sills and Sua Opeta.
The Packers scratched cornerback Shemar JeanCharles, safety Johnathan Abram, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, offensive tackle Rasheed Walker, wide receiver Romeo Doubs and defensive lineman Jonathan Ford.
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The Eagles lost the coin toss for just the second time this season, former Eagle Rasul Douglas calling tails to get the job done for the Packers. The Eagles are 9-2 in coin flips.
• • • safety Darnell
Savage exited on the first series with an injured foot trying to tackle Hurts on a 24-yard scramble.
Hurts rushed twice for 52 yards on the opening possession in a 10-play, 75-yard scoring march for a 7-0 lead and went over 100 rushing yards in the first quarter for the Eagles.
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Josiah Scott’s first career interception was memorable as he gathered in Aaron Rodgers’ second attempt Sunday.
Darius Slay deflected the ball on third down, Scott hauling it in at the 29-yard line of the Packers.
Three plays later, Miles Sanders made it 13-0 for the Eagles with a 15-yard run, his seventh touchdown of the season.
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The Packers closed within 6:40 left in the first quarter on AJ Dillon’s 20-yard run.
Rodgers also completed a 30-yard screen pass to Aaron Jones but the play that got it started was a 38yard kickoff return by Keisan Nixon.
Jake Elliott also missed a first-half PAT for the Eagles, as did Packers kicker Mason Crosby.