Lane Johnson Expects To Hear About Suspension By Thursday
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.”
According to Johnson, the debate over policy was about testing procedure, not substances. However, he declined to further specify what the disagreement was over. He also noted that the NFLPA changed his opinion of them because they “were there” for him, after he said they don’t stand up for players when his suspension initially came down.
“We put it all on the floor. We didn’t have nothing to hide,” Johnson said. “We feel like we did all we could, wasn’t a stone unturned. Main thing was we just faced it head on. [We] weren’t going to be intimidated by the NFL.”
If the 10-game ban is upheld, Johnson plans to remain in Philadelphia while he hopes the Eagles are in playoff contention. It’s unclear what Johnson’s fate will be, and it’s also unclear how the Eagles will fill his spot if he misses time.
Doug Pederson initially said he planned to move Allen Barbre from left guard to right tackle, with Stefen Wisniewski filling in at left guard. But last week, Pederson noted rookie fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai may replace Johnson instead.
“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,” Pederson said. “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.”