In a troubling scene on the Lehigh fields Monday, Eagles wide receiver Ron Johnson sustained a dislocated left ankle and possible fracture, according to head trainer Rick Burkholder. He was taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital for x-rays and further evaluation.
“It’s one of those things in football,” said Burkholder. “Thank goodness we have the physicians we have and guys on my staff who can handle those things. We got him calmed down as best we could, splinted and off the field.”
Bystanders gasped as Johnson’s foot turned the wrong away near midfield during the afternoon session. Many teammates had to turn away.
“I can’t deal with that,” said Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. “When I tore my MCL I know that feels.”
O.J. Atgowe was the exception, as he was seen comforting Johnson as he lay on the field.
“I saw a man in despair, so I just kept praying for him,” said Atgowe. “He just fell awkwardly and landed over top of his body. Sometimes the body falls in way they aren’t supposed to…He’s definitely in our prayers.”
This is the second injury to a wide receiver in the last few days. Riley Cooper underwent surgery for his fractured collarbone Monday and is expected to miss six weeks. The sense here is they will add a wideout for depth. They worked out rookie Travis Cobb out of Arizona earlier Monday, but he was not signed.
You could tell from the players and coaches’ reaction that much of this team has a soft spot for Johnson.
“I really like him,” said Andy Reid. “He’s been coming on since we got him. He’s been improving every day. He worked out all season like a wild man, and you hate seeing that. He’s a great, great kid and a good player, too…This is going to be a setback for him but he’s a battler, and he’ll battle through it.”
Added DeSean Jackson: “That’s like a little brother to myself. I’ve been keeping him under my wing and things like that so it definitely touched me in a very tough spot. I just pray for him, and hopefully he’ll get better.”
In other injury news, Riley Cooper had successful surgery on his collarbone Monday. Jason Babin had an MRI on his calf strain at Lehigh Valley Hospital. There is currently no timetable for his return, according to the Eagles.
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