Lane Johnson Expecting To Play Left Tackle
The contingency plan is now clear.
If Jason Peters is not able to suit up this weekend, Lane Johnson will take his place at left tackle and Dennis Kelly will be inserted into the right tackle spot.
The Eagles have gone with that alignment this week as Peters continues to sit out with a back injury. The closer we get to Sunday, the more likely it seems that the line could be operating without its future Hall-of-Famer.
“It’s kind of up in the air, just kind of play it by ear and see how he feels,” said Johnson. “As of right now, I’m expecting to play left.”
Johnson has worked on the left side during pass-rush drills some since joining the Eagles, but this is his first time getting team reps there since college, he said.
“It’s like using your right hand all your life, then go over there and try to use your left hand for a little bit. It’s just different,” he said. “It takes time to get used to it as far as muscle memory and getting your balance down over there.”
Is one week of practice there going to be enough for you?
“We’re going to see,” he said, drawing laughs. “We’re going to see on Sunday.”
Johnson played left tackle his senior year at Oklahoma after spending his junior year on the right side. He found that he was better at pass blocking on the left side and run blocking on the right in college. He’ll have those pass-rushing skills tested immediately with Greg Hardy likely to line up opposite him a good amount.
“The challenge is going out there and not getting a whole lot of time to practice it. It’s one week, haven’t done it in a long time, but I’m going to go out there and give it my best and I think I’ll do well,” said Johnson.
Hardy moves up and down the line, so he’ll probably take a crack at the right side as well. The Eagles decided to leave Matt Tobin at right guard in the name of trying to maintain consistency along the interior, leaving Kelly to man the right tackle spot.
“I think we had a really good week,” said Tobin. “Passing games off, communicating, we’ve both been on the same page. I don’t think we’ve had any issues with that, so I feel pretty comfortable playing next to him.”
Ryan Mathews misses practice
Ryan Mathews did not practice Thursday after being a limited participant the day before. Mathews is dealing with a groin strain he suffered against Carolina. DeMeco Ryans (hamstring) and Peters (back) joined him on the sideline.
Nelson Agholor (ankle), Kiko Alonso (knee), Brandon Bair (groin) and Bryan Braman (shoulder) were all listed as full participants.