The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New Orleans Saints game is getting chippy. During a play in the second quarter of the NFC Divisional game, cornerback CJ Gardner-Johnson appears to throw a kidney punch while in the middle of a block with a Buccaneers defender.
That’s C.J. Gardner-Johnson. https://t.co/uQpmL7o148
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 18, 2021
The punch was not noticed by any officials, so no flag was thrown on the incident in the Saints – Bucs game. The NFL will more than likely investigate the incident and Gardner-Johnson could be facing a fine and suspension.
This is not the first time Gardner-Johnson has gotten into it with other players, and every time he has come out of it with fewer repercussions coming his way. Last week he baited Anthony Miller of the Chicago Bears into getting himself ejected against the Saints.
Bucs-Saints is tied in the fourth quarter.
This was not the first time he had baited a Bears receiver to go after him, getting to Javon Wims during the regular season when Chicago hosted the Saints. The Wims incident had the Bears coaching staff worried going into the playoff game, with members of the staff sitting down with Miller and forewarning him about Gardner-Johnson, calling him a punk.
That insight didn't help Miller, however, as he was still baited into retaliating against the Saints and their instigator.
Gardner-Johnson also has gotten into fights with his own Saints teammates, most notably with star wide receiver Michael Thomas. Once again Gardner-Johnson was not held at fault, with even the star wide receiver being held accountable for his actions, being suspended due to his actions.
While not something the league wants to see, and certainly something they will look to address in the offseason, Gardner-Johnson's ability to get under receivers skins has been a valuable asset and something the Saints organization is secretly happy to have. It's a dynamic in which certain players are hated by everyone else, but loved by their own team.