Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence so that he can undergo treatments for cancer according to the team. The team confirmed that for now, secondary coach Sean McDermott will take over the defense.
“Jim and I agreed that he needs to concentrate all of his efforts on his recovery,” coach Andy Reid said in a team-issued statement. “His health is number one. He’s struggling, but he’s a tough guy and a true battler. I hope everyone will keep him in their thoughts and prayers during this period of time. We hope to have him back with the team as soon as possible.”
The 67-year-old is the Eagles’ longtime defense chief and architect of their blitzing style, and that style should not falter under McDermott, who has been with the team since 2000. Doctors reportedly told Johnson early this year that he was suffering from a recurrence of skin cancer that had spread to his spine.