When Pro Bowl rosters were announced last week, Lane Johnson’s name was a notable omission. He wasn’t even named an alternate.
Asked about that snub on Wednesday, Johnson didn’t mince his words.
“I was pissed. I’ll leave it at that,” Johnson said. “I was really pissed. As far as that, it just motivates me (for) whatever’s left of the season.”
Johnson, 31, was a first-round pick, has been named to three Pro Bowl teams before, has been an All-Pro and is a huge part of an offense that has become the best rushing attack in the NFL.
He seems to have all the requisite qualifications to be a Pro Bowler … but he didn’t make the list or the alternate list.
If you ask Johnson, he’s playing as well now as he ever has.
“I think I’m the best version of myself now,” Johnson said. “Yeah, I don’t know.”
So why does Johnson think he was a Pro Bowl snub?
He has a theory.
Johnson thinks it has something to do with his three-game absence earlier this season as he sorted out some mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Johnson missed games against the Chiefs, Panthers and Buccaneers because of it.
Since his return, been very open about his mental health issues, explaining in detail that his major issue was withdrawal symptoms after taking himself off antidepressants.
“I think it did a lot of good for a lot of people,” Johnson said. “For me, I don’t know if it did.”
Pro Bowl rosters are determined by fan, coach and player voting. Each counts 1/3 toward the final tally.
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In Sunday’s win over the Giants, Nick Sirianni called a play named “East Texas,” which was a pass from Jalen Hurts to an eligible Johnson for a touchdown. That was sort of a reward for Johnson after he didn’t make the Pro Bowl.
The Eagles ended up with just two players named to Pro Bowl rosters — Jason Kelce and Darius Slay — and several more named as alternates. You can certainly make a strong case that Johnson and his fellow tackle Jordan Mailata were snubbed by voters.
But Mailata is just 24 and is still growing. And he was definitely more mad about Johnson’s snub than his own.
"I care more for Lane,” Mailata said last week. “I think Lane’s one of the best tackles in this game. I know, for me, if I look at myself in the mirror, I know I have a long way to go before I ever make those Pro Bowls. There’s so much stuff that I need to clean up on my own tape. If there’s one tackle I model myself after, it’s Lane. I just feel for Lane in that regard, more for him than myself.”