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Jets CB Sauce Gardner (concussion) downgraded to out for Sunday's game against Eagles

Cornerback Sauce Gardner will officially miss the first game of his NFL career on Sunday.

New York has downgraded Gardner to out due to a concussion, meaning the 2-3 Jets will have to take on the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles with an even more patchwork secondary.

Along with Gardner, defensive backs D.J. Reed, Brandin Echols and Justin Hardee (placed on injured reserve today) will also sit.

Gardner, who popped up on the injury report on Friday with an illness that has since been categorized as a concussion, is the biggest absence of them all.

Last year's AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, Gardner has two interceptions, 23 passes defensed and a forced fumble through 22 career games.

He hasn't shied from contact, either, logging 95 tackles despite primarily playing boundary corner. That would have been pivotal against a Philadelphia defense that ranks second in rushing yards thanks to the talents of dual-threat Jalen Hurts and a running back stable helmed by the resurgent D'Andre Swift.

To compensate for their depleted secondary, the Jets have elevated DBs Craig James and Tae Hayes for Sunday's contest.

They'll join more established cornerbacks like Michael Carter II and Bryce Hall in trying to slow the Eagles.

It's been an uphill climb for the Jets after entering September as offseason darlings. Gardner's impending absence renders the journey Sunday that much steeper.

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