Examining the Eagles Interest in Will Beatty
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles don't know exactly when the other shoe will drop in regards to the presumptive 10-game PED suspension of starting right tackle Lane Johnson but their actions indicate they know it's coming.
Although head coach Doug Pederson indicated that plan B already resides in the NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia has reportedly reached out to former Giants starter Will Beatty, according to Newsday.
The newspaper reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have an offer on the table for Beatty, who was released by New York after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral and shoulder injury. Before that, however, the 31-year-old was one the more consistent members of the Giants' offensive front as the starter at left tackle.
The Eagles, meanwhile, essentially demoted Johnson at practice Saturday, moving left guard Allen Barbre out to right tackle and allowing rookie Isaac Seumalo, who has seemed overmatched so far, to get some reps with the starters at left guard.
Because Brandon Brooks was limited and did not work in team drills after a biceps injury suffered against Tampa Bay on Thursday, veteran Stefen Wisniewski was working at right guard.
With a full boat, Pederson's plan is likely Barbre at right tackle and Wisniewski at left guard. Other options for replacing Lane are right tackle include Dennis Kelly, who has been Johnson's backup for the majority of the offseason and training camp, as well as Matt Tobin and rookie fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
When addressing the media after practice Saturday, the coach claimed he was not worried about his offensive line despite the fact he's likely going to be without the services of Johnson for 2 1/2 months and the reality that aging left tackle Jason Peters is seemingly always day-to-day.
“You know what, I’m really not," the coach claimed. “I look back to our days in Kansas City. We had a lot of injuries there and we were moving guys around, and we had a young left tackle early on. We made it work. I’m looking for five tough, dirty, nasty guys that want to go out and just play football. I don’t care which five it is, but we’re going to find the best five and the right five, and I feel like we’ve got them here on the team.”
Pederson has been consistent with that narrative since the Johnson news broke so while Howie Roseman may have done his due diligence on Beatty, the Eagles want to exhaust all in-house option before bringing in a potential band-aid.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen