Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson has finally been suspended by the NFL for 10 games pending an appeal, according to a report from Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
News of Johnson testing positive for performance enhancing-drugs first emerged in early August. There has been a delay in Johnson’s suspension timeline, however, as he’s awaited the results of his B sample. As it turns out, the B sample only confirmed the original A sample.
Johnson reportedly has an appeal hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4. Johnson’s suspension won’t be effective until a decision is made following the hearing. That means he can definitely play in Philadelphia’s Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 25. The Eagles have a bye in Week 4.
If the Eagles lose Johnson for 10 games, he won’t be eligible to return until Week 15. The Eagles play the Ravens, the Giants, and the Cowboys in their final three games of the 2016 season.
With Johnson potentially out, the Eagles are expected to move starting left guard Allen Barbre to right tackle. Filling in at guard could be veteran Stefen Wisniewski. The Eagles could also look to Isaac Seumalo if/when the third round rookie is fully healthy enough to play.
Johnson’s second career suspension would clearly spell bad news for the Eagles. It weakens an offensive line that hasn’t looked stellar through two games. It also means Johnson is just one more failed drug test away from being suspended for two whole years.
The suspension is obviously bad news for Johnson as well. If his appeal is unsuccessful, all of the guaranteed money ($35.5 million) in Johnson’s five-year contract extension he signed earlier this offseason will be automatically voided.
News of Johnson’s potential suspension puts a damper on an otherwise promising 2-0 start to the Eagles’ 2016 season.
Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2016/09/20/eagles-lane-johnson-finally-suspended-for-10-games-pending-appeal-per-report/
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