Eagles

Some less than encouraging news about Lane Johnson’s ankle

Eagles

Doug Pederson gave sort of an ominous update about Lane Johnson’s surgically repaired left ankle on Monday afternoon.

“In the case of Lane Johnson, I am waiting,” Pederson said. “Medically, we’re waiting on the second opinion. There’s some reports still coming in on Lane so I don’t have any update yet on him.”

Sure, sometimes second opinions reveal good news. But the fact that one was necessary for an ankle that needed surgery before the start of this season doesn’t exactly sound promising.

Johnson, 30, came out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh after just 39 offensive snaps. And unlike the week before, he was not able to return.

So since playing all 91 snaps in the tie to Cincinnati on Sept. 27, Johnson has played just 76 of 121 snaps (62.8%). In his place, fourth-round rookie Jack Driscoll has filled in.

If Johnson needs to be shut down for any length of time, it would obviously be a big loss. It would leave the Eagles with just one projected starter coming into the 2020 season:

LT: Jordan Mailata

LG: Nate Herbig

C: Jason Kelce

RG: Matt Pryor

RT: Jack Driscoll

That is very different than the line the Eagles expected to have in the 2020 season. The projected line was supposed to be a major strength:

LT: Andre Dillard

LG: Isaac Seumalo

C: Jason Kelce

RG: Brandon Brooks

RT: Lane Johnson

Johnson was prepared to play without surgery until he re-injured his left ankle during the Eagles’ scrimmage this summer. He had a tightrope procedure that he expected to finally fix an injury that dated back to the 2018 season.

 

That hasn’t exactly worked so far. After missing the opener, Johnson thought his ankle would get stronger as the season went on but that obviously hasn’t been the case. After the game in San Francisco, Johnson said the issue was a cyst that he needed to get drained. That didn’t cure the problem.

A few other injury notes:

  • Cornerback Darius Slay suffered a concussion on Sunday and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. That obviously means there’s a chance he might miss the upcoming game against the Ravens. But it is possible for players to clear the protocol within a week. Brandon Graham did it earlier this season. All concussions are different.
  • Linebacker Duke Riley left the game on Sunday but Pederson said Riley is fine.
  • Pederson is “hopeful” that DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) practice this week. Jackson has missed the last two games and Jeffery hasn’t played yet this season.

“We have to make sure that these two guys are healthy first, right, No. 1,” Pederson said. “Make sure they’re 100 percent heading into the game.”

There’s also the added layer of trying to work these two veterans back into the lineup while also not disrupting chemistry Carson Wentz has formed with some other receivers, namely Travis Fulgham, who has played great the last two weeks.

If Jeffery doesn’t return this week, the Eagles have wasted a roster spot on him because he could have been on PUP. If Jackson doesn’t return this week, the Eagles have wasted a roster spot on him because he could have been on IR.