Johnson Gets Hit with His 10-Game Suspension
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The other shoe has finally dropped regarding Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, who has finally been notified of his 10-game PED suspension by the NFL, pending an appeal.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report the news and an NFL source confirmed it to 973espn.com on Tuesday morning.
Johnson is expected to play against Pittsburgh on Sunday because his appeal hearing in not scheduled until Oct. 4. That could be his last game until late in the season because Philadelphia has a bye week after this weekend’s contest.
This is Johnson’s second PED suspension as he was also popped for a banned substance (believed to be Adderall) back in 2014.
This time, Johnson claims a tainted supplement which he purchased online resulted in a red flag for a banned peptide in late July. By August 12 he seemed resigned to his fate and was waiting for the results of the B sample, to confirm the original test and thought that process would take about two weeks.
For whatever reason, it took well over a month and Johnson wasn’t officially informed of his potential suspension until last night.
The Eagles’ contingency plan remains the same, kicking Allen Barbre from left guard out to right tackle but the veteran has no longer been getting any practice reps there since the regular season began and Johnson was still available.
“We haven’t (had Barbre at RT) in the last couple weeks, just because we haven’t heard (anything on the status of Johnson),” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said last week. “What we did in training camp and the things he did for those couple of weeks and getting himself ready to play — especially now, if something were to come down and to move him over there with a week of preparation, he’d be okay.”
As for left guard, rookie Isaac Seumalo got the first opportunity in the preseason but a pec injury slowed his development and Pederson now admits veteran Stefen Wisniewski will be the guy taking over.
“Wis would be the next guy in right now with Isaac’s situation,” the coach said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds. Right now, it looks like it would be Wis going into that spot.
“…(Seumalo has) actually been looking really good, he’s getting stronger with that injury. Right now, with (Wisniewski) taking all the second team reps, and being the guy that’s up right now, it would be (Wisniewski) going into that spot.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen