Eagles

Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland not ready to rule out Lane Johnson for Sunday

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AP Images

Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland not ready to rule out Lane Johnson for Sunday

As the Eagles begin preparations in Dallas week, most people have already assumed Lane Johnson won’t be playing in this game because of a knee injury he suffered in London.

Reports have called it a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which would normally keep a player out for about a month. So it would be overly optimistic to think Johnson could play through this injury a couple weeks after sustaining it.

But Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland isn’t ready to say definitively that Johnson won’t play Sunday night against the Cowboys. 

“You’re not counting Lane out, are you?” Stoutland said when asked a question about Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s preparation as a starter. “I think he’s a tough guy. I think that knowing Lane Johnson, anything he can do to be out on that field, he’ll be there. I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I know how he operates.”

It is worth noting that earlier this season, after Jason Peters partially tore his biceps, Stoutland said he didn’t think Peters would miss any time. Peters started six days later against the Panthers. 

Johnson had already been playing through a high ankle sprain but playing through an MCL sprain like this would be pretty remarkable.

Stoutland was then asked if the team has to consider how effective Johnson might be even if he’s physically able to be on the field. 

“He went into the last game banged up,” Stoutland said. “I don’t know if you watched the first seven or eight plays before he got injured, but he didn’t look hurt to me. He was flying around. He was playing extremely well. I think that’s this time of year right now. There’s a lot of players that are banged up.”

The Eagles will begin practicing this week Wednesday. We’ll see if Johnson is able to participate even a little bit. If it really is a Grade 2 sprain, it still seems like quite a long shot. 

One thing Stoutland made clear was that if it isn’t Johnson starting, it’ll be Big V and not Isaac Seumalo playing at right tackle. Seumalo has played well enough at tackle in a pinch that it’s probably worth at least thinking of going in that direction, but Stoutland said he isn’t thinking about that. He would rather not affect two spots on the line. 

If Johnson is out for this game, Big V would start at right tackle and would play there unless something happened to Peters. Peters has struggled to get through games this season with plenty of injuries of his own. So if Johnson’s out and Peters leaves, Big V would slide to left tackle, Seumalo would go to right tackle and Stefen Wisniewski would go back to left guard.

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice. Regardless of how factual the story was, this will add pressure on Wentz next season.

The guys react to a thrilling and extremely controversial championship weekend in the NFL. How much of an officiating problem does the NFL have?

1:00 - Initial thoughts on the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice.
7:00 - Derrick's in the locker room daily. What is the environment there?
11:00 - Added pressure on Wentz next season.
16:00 - Saints get jobbed.
23:00 - Patriots are amazing.

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Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

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USA Today Images

Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

Lane Johnson finally got the Pro Bowl nod he deserves.

Johnson will replace injured Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith in the annual AFC-NFC All-Star game, scheduled for this weekend in Orlando, Florida. Johnson was originally snubbed when the team was announced in December.

This is Johnson’s second straight Pro Bowl selection. He was unable to play last year because the Eagles were on their way to the Super Bowl.

Johnson is the fifth Eagle now represented on the NFC Pro Bowl team. Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox were on the original roster and Malcolm Jenkins was also an injury replacement. 

The Eagles’ current starting line now has a total of 13 Pro Bowls to their name. Jason Peters has been picked to seven and Johnson, Brooks and Jason Kelce two apiece.

That’s a far cry from the nearly two-decade period from 1982 through 2000, when the Eagles didn’t have a single offensive lineman selected to a Pro Bowl.

After serving a 10-game suspension for a positive test for a banned substance in 2016, his second suspension, Johnson vowed that he would be as good a player without taking supplements as he was before his suspensions.

Since then he’s played two full seasons and made the Pro Bowl in each one.

The Eagles are 26-9 with Johnson in uniform during the regular season since 2016 and 50-29 with him in uniform since the Eagles drafted him in the first round in 2013. Including the playoffs, they’re 54-30 when Johnson plays. 

Johnson has a Pro Bowl escalator in his contract, which increases the base salary of each remaining year of his contract by $500,000, so his base goes from $790,000 this year to $840,000 and increases by $500,000 the next three years also — to $11,150,000 in 2019, $9,335,000 in 2020 and $8,815,000 in 2021.

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