New Orleans Saints safety CJ Gardner-Johnson may have just taken himself out of their game against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday after he posted a birthday picture of him with other individuals, breaking the NFL COVID-19 protocol.

Gardner-Johnson was clearly without a mask and not socially distancing in this birthday post.


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Now, according to Myles Simmons of NBC Sports, the Saints placed CJ Gardner-Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list and are currently waiting on his test result. Gardner-Johnson has played in all 15 games this season so far, where he has recorded 13 defended passes, five tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception.

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The Saints, now first in the NFC South with an 11-4 record, could potentially get the first seed in the NFC if the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers both lose to their respective opponents this week.

With the playoffs just around the corner, hopefully, Gardner-Johnson has not put himself in a position where he cannot contribute to the Saints' playoff run. Regardless whether New Orleans get that first seed or even the second seed, they remain a dangerous team to play no matter what round of the playoffs it is.

With Alvin Kamara having a stellar season and Drew Brees surpassing 80,000 career yards, the Saints are title contenders without a doubt.

If Gardner-Johnson were not to play this coming week, the Saints have cornerback Patrick Robinson that came back from injured reserve.