Eagles Wake-Up Call: Lane Johnson Set To Start

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

More than three weeks after news leaked about Lane Johnson’s failed drug test, the Eagles are still in limbo as they enter the regular season unsure of when their $60 million right tackle may or may not be suspended.

Even if Johnson’s 10-game ban comes down in the next week before the Eagles host the Browns, the appeals process could take weeks, further complicating who will compose the starting offensive line. Amid the uncertainty, Doug Pederson has decided to take a rather simple approach.

“Until I get further word from the league office, he goes in as my starting right tackle,” Pederson said after the Eagles’ 14-6 win over the Jets. Read more »

Pederson: Smallwood Still In Concussion Protocol

Wendell Smallwood. (Jeff Fusco)

Wendell Smallwood. (Jeff Fusco)

Wendell Smallwood has not yet cleared the concussion protocol, Doug Pederson announced Tuesday afternoon. Isaac Seumalo, who is battling a pectoral injury, will not play in the preseason finale on Thursday against the Jets, but he’s expected to be ready to play next week. Vinny Curry (knee), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Taylor Hart (knee, ankle) should also be good to go for the regular season opener against the Browns.

With most of the Eagles’ first-team offense sitting out this week, Chase Daniel will start the game and most likely play for the entire first half, while McLeod Bethel-Thompson will play in the second half. Lane Johnson will play on Thursday, and if he isn’t suspended before the regular season, he is expected to start for the Eagles against the Browns. Read more »

Lane Johnson Getting ‘More Pissed Off Each Day’

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Two weeks after the news leaked about Lane Johnson’s impending suspension, the Eagles’ right tackle still faces much uncertainty. He doesn’t know when he’ll receive the results of his B sample, when he may potentially be banned for 10 games and when he could appeal if he suspended.

He’s been given no timeline, and he’s unsure of how long the appeals process would take. That uncertain future, Johnson says, is what’s irritated him the most over the past few weeks.

“I just get a little bit more pissed off each day, to be honest. That’s where I’m at right now,” Johnson said. “It’s just been frustrating. You come in, want to have a good season and shit hits the fan again. Got to go through this stuff all over again. It’s just been more mentally frustrating, hard to concentrate on what you need to concentrate on.” Read more »

Wentz Feels ‘Discomfort,’ DGB Expects First-Team Reps

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Contrary to Doug Pederson’s previous comments, Carson Wentz will throw today after not throwing yesterday. The rookie quarterback said he’s “still experiencing some discomfort,” but he feels “good” in normal activities outside of football and he still hopes to return for the fourth preseason game.

Wentz added that he’ll continue to wear a flak jacket and he won’t do anything different going forward.

“It’s not going to change the way I play,” Wentz said. “I’m not going to back away from anything, but at the same time, I’m still learning how to control myself and take care of the body, protect myself a little more and that’s something I got to keep doing the rest of my career.” Read more »

Lane Johnson Not Confident B Sample Is Negative

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson. (Jeff Fusco)

UPDATE NO. 2: Ken Sarnoff, Johnson’s agent released a statement after the NFLPA’s.

UPDATE: The NFLPA responded to Johnson’s comments about the players union not standing up for its members.

Original Story

Lane Johnson is “not very confident” his B sample will be negative and clear him of any wrongdoing, he said Saturday after practice. He addressed the media for the first time after reports surfaced of him facing a 10-game suspension for failing a drug test a second time.

Johnson said everything he has taken was approved beforehand through the Aegis Shield app, which the NFL Players Association provides to players. He bought the amino acid supplement online, like the rest of the supplements he purchases, and checked to see if it was approved through the app, which the USADA and NHL also use. Read more »

Pederson Working On Plan B At Right Tackle

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles are beginning preparations for life without Lane Johnson, just in case.

Doug Pederson said he hasn’t personally been  notified of a suspension to this point, but he talked like one could very well be coming.

“You’ve always gotta be mindful of that obviously in the back of your mind,” said Pederson. “I’ll visit with Coach [Jeff] Stoutland this week and we’ll evaluate where we need to go from here and if that’s the case, if it’s upheld, then we’ve gotta be prepared to make some moves. Until it happens, we go full steam but at the same time we also know and we’ve gotta be smart about it to have people ready to go if it is upheld.”

If it’s upheld?

“I guess if the suspension is upheld and if it starts Week 1, if the 10 games starts Week 1,” he said. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We’ll Be Watching

Jalen Mills. (Jeff Fusco)

Jalen Mills. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles open up the preseason tonight with a 7 o’clock home game against the Bucs. Here’s what we’ll be watching:

Right tackle, obviously.

Lane Johnson has not been suspended as of yet, and even if he were, he’d still be able to take part in preseason activities. With news swirling of a failed drug test, though, the Eagles have to weigh how to proceed here as they get ready for the start of the regular season. The team has been quiet on the Johnson front and hasn’t said if he will suit up tonight. While the Johnson camp hadn’t received definitive word as of Wednesday afternoon, its assumption was that the Eagles would play him.

Either way, the first team likely won’t be on the field long and Doug Pederson will want to get a look at some possible replacements should Johnson be unavailable to him. Dennis Kelly is listed as the backup at right tackle on the unofficial depth chart with Halapoulivaati Vaitai behind him. The Eagles could also try Andrew Gardner or Allen Barbre in that spot. The more reps the better for these candidates, just in case. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: Understanding the Johnson Situation

Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Today’s question comes from reader Ben.

I’ve been reading over the NFL’s 2015 Policy On Performance-Enhancing Substances to try and get a better understanding of the process in the event of a positive test. Here’s what I came away with: Read more »

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