Eagles Wake-Up Call: Inside Lane Johnson’s Lawsuit

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson filed lawsuits against both the NFL and NFL Players Association last Tuesday, but outside of a brief statement from one of his lawyers, Steve Zashin, little about the litigation was known. That changed, however, when Zashin and two of his colleagues joined “The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt” podcast yesterday to discuss Johnson’s legal challenges. Read more »

Lane Johnson Sues NFL And NFLPA, Per Report

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson filed unfair labor practice charges against the NFL and NFL Players Association, the MMQB’s Albert Breer reported. Johnson’s complaint, which was filed with the Department of Labor under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, stems from the 10-game suspension he is currently serving for his second failed drug test.  Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Big V’s Big Chance

Halapoulivaati Vaitai. (USA Today Sports)

Halapoulivaati Vaitai. (USA Today Sports)

Halapoulivaati Vaitai already has butterflies. He found out he would replace Lane Johnson as the Eagles’ starting right tackle Monday night, he first practiced with the other starters on Wednesday and he’ll play in his first NFL game on Sunday.

While the rookie fifth-round pick says he’ll be able to settle in after his first play against Washington this week, he’s already bubbling with excitement.

“It’s a good opportunity. I’m going to take it,” Vaitai, who goes by “Big V,” said. “It’s unfortunate for Lane, but that’s life. I got to be the next man up.” Read more »

Halapoulivaati Vaitai To Start In Place Of Lane Johnson

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Rookie fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai will start at right tackle against Washington on Sunday with Lane Johnson’s suspension beginning this week, Doug Pederson announced Wednesday morning. Johnson’s 10-game ban was upheld yesterday, meaning he won’t be available to return to the Eagles until Week 16.

“(Vaitai) is ready,” Pederson said. “He’s worked extremely hard. He’s gone against our defensive front not only through training camp, but practiced against them every single day. Smart kid, athletic kid, strong kid. Just excited to watch him play on Sunday.” Read more »

Lane Johnson Expects To Hear About Suspension By Thursday

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

DETROIT — Lane Johnson expects to hear whether his 10-game suspension will be upheld, reduced or overturned by Wednesday or Thursday, he said after the Eagles’ 24-23 loss against the Lions. The Eagles’ starting right tackle said he has no idea what the arbitrator will decide.

“[Tuesday’s appeal hearing] was eight hours of bickering back and forth, just discussing new policy, how to interpret and that’s pretty much all it was,” Johnson said. “Just felt good to go in there and take it on head on and confront them about it.” Read more »

Halapoulivaati Vaitai May Replace Lane Johnson

Jeff Stoutland, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Jeff Stoutland, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

If precedent is an accurate predictor of how Lane Johnson’s appeal will be handled, his 10-game ban will likely be upheld and enforced starting next week when the Eagles visit Washington. But after saying last week that Allen Barbre would move to right tackle with Stefen Wisniewski at left guard if Johnson misses time, Doug Pederson confirmed Ed Werder’s report today that Halapoulivaati Vaitai may replace Johnson instead.

“It is true,” Pederson said. “Talking with [offensive line] coach [Jeff] Stoutland and watching Big V closely not only through preseason, but in practices these last couple of weeks — we want to exhaust all of the possibilities. Allen Barbre has been playing great at left guard, and if you don’t have to disrupt two positions and just do one, I think there’s some conversation there that we got to have. But yeah, he’s definitely in the mix.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Lane Johnson Appears Likely To Play

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

After Lane Johnson’s seven-hour appeal hearing yesterday in New York City on his 10-game suspension for his second failed drug test, no decision was immediately reached or announced. But precedent suggests Johnson won’t know his fate until next week, and in the interim, he appears likely to play against the Lions on Sunday.

“There are a number of issues relative to Lane’s appeal,” Steve Zashin, Johnson’s attorney, reportedly said in a statement. “Many of those issues strike at the heart of substantive player protections. We await the decision of the arbitrator. In the meantime, Lane will prepare and play as scheduled.” Read more »

Zach Ertz, Leodis McKelvin Uncertain For Week 2

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)

Zach Ertz and Leodis McKelvin will not practice Thursday, but they haven’t been ruled out for the Eagles’ game Monday night against the Bears, according to Doug Pederson. Everyone else on the 53-man roster will practice, including Trey Burton, who didn’t play against the Browns because of a calf injury.

If Burton takes Ertz’s spot in Chicago, Pederson noted the game plan will not change “at all.” The Eagles’ head coach added that he had a plan to get Burton involved against Cleveland if he would’ve played. Ertz, meanwhile, is still battling a displaced rib below his left collarbone that he injured in the first quarter on Sunday.

“He’s progressed well. He’s feeling better. We just can’t risk putting him back out there right now with any kind of contact on that shoulder,” Pederson said. “This rib is just displaced about seven millimeters. It just has to work itself back together, tighten whatever is up in there.” Read more »

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