Nick Sirianni said Monday he’s not certain three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson will return to the team this year.
Johnson has missed the Eagles’ last two games because of an undisclosed personal matter. He traveled to Oklahoma last week and has since returned to Philly but has not rejoined the team.
“We’re hopeful that Lane will be back this year,” Sirianni said. “Not going to go into any more than that, but we’re hopeful to have him back because we know how important Lane is to our football team.”
Johnson, 31, has missed 31 games in his nine-year career – four in 2014 and 10 in 2016 because of positive tests for banned substances and most of the others with a lingering ankle injury that dates back to 2018 and has required multiple surgeries.
Johnson, the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, was a Pro Bowler in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and a 1st-team all-pro in 2017.
On Sunday in Charlotte, Sirianni added Johnson’s No.65 to Isaac Seumalo’s 56 and Brandon Graham’s 55 on his game-day visor:
Since Seumalo and Graham are both out for the year it raised speculation that Johnson may be as well.
But Sirianni said that’s not necessarily the case. He just wanted to do something symbolizing that missing players are still a big part of the team.
“That’s not reflective that he’ll be out for the season,” he said. “Still working through a personal matter and we’re here for Lane for everything, all our guys through good times and bad times.
“I just wanted those guys to know that they’re a part of it and they’re with us, even though they weren’t on the field with us, they were there with us and they contributed to everything that’s going on to this organization.
“We’re hopeful that Lane will be back this year. Not going to go into any more than that, but we’re hopeful to have him back because we know how important Lane is to our football team.”
With Seumalo, Brandon Brooks and Johnson out and Jordan Mailata back after missing two games, the Eagles started Andre Dillard, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Jack Driscoll and Mailata left to right.
Dickerson was replaced by Nate Herbig in the fourth quarter, and Sirianni said Monday Dickerson had suffered a minor ankle injury. He said he expects Dickerson to return to action on Thursday when the Eagles face the Buccaneers at the Linc. And he expects the Eagles to use the same o-line lineup as well.
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