Lane Johnson will not need any further surgery on his left ankle, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark confirmed on Tuesday.
That’s obviously good news.
On Monday, after Johnson was forced out of the loss in Pittsburgh, head coach Doug Pederson said Johnson was getting a second opinion on that ankle. The fact that he needed a second opinion sounded ominous.
But now we’re all left in the same spot where Johnson was last week. He is cleared to play, but how well will he be able to play and how much pain can he fight through? At some point, it might not be a terrible idea to rest him for a game or two if that helps him play the rest of the season.
Against the Steelers, Johnson played just 39 snaps and has played just 62.8% over the last two weeks as he deals with that surgically repaired ankle.
Even before Johnson left the Steelers game early, Pederson admitted that this is an injury that won’t go away anytime soon.
“Listen, it’s gonna linger,” Pederson said on Oct. 5. “We’re at the point now where everybody’s body is sore and the injuries that we have, they’re going to continue. You’re not going to get 100 percent healthy. There’s no way. We just don’t have the time to get everybody 100 percent. It’s just the nature of the game.
“He’s a tough kid. He plays through it and he’s going to have to continue to play through it the rest of the year.”
If Johnson can’t go on Sunday, rookie fourth-round pick Jack Driscoll would get another start. Driscoll opened the season as the Eagles’ starting right tackle and has filled in when Johnson has been forced out of games this year.
That would also mean the Eagles would be left with just one projected starter on their offensive line:
LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Nate Herbig
C: Jason Kelce
RG: Matt Pryor
RT: Jack Driscoll
The frustrating part of this injury for Johnson is that he expected this surgery to finally fix an injury that he had been dealing with since the 2018 season. He only had the procedure this summer because he re-injured the ankle during the Eagles’ scrimmage.
Johnson had the tightrope procedure and thought the ankle would continue to get stronger and feel better as the season went on and the swelling subsided. That hasn’t happened.
The good news is that Johnson doesn’t need more surgery. The bad news is that his ankle isn’t going to magically get better either.