The Eagles will be without starting right tackle Lane Johnson on Sunday, sources tell NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn.
There’s a belief that Johnson could be ready if the Eagles make it to the divisional round.
But this is a big loss for the Eagles heading into their Wild Card Round matchup against the Seahawks.
This will be Johnson’s fourth consecutive game missed with a high ankle sprain. While the Eagles listed Johnson as questionable, it wasn’t a good sign on Friday when Johnson missed practice after being limited in the first two days of the week. Ultimately, he hasn’t recovered enough to be a good enough option against Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks.
This means the Eagles will be without their star-studded right side of the offensive line. Brandon Brooks (shoulder) was lost for the season last week.
So Halapoulivaati Vaitai will make his fourth consecutive start at right tackle and second-year OL Matt Pryor will make his first career NFL start in the playoffs.
The good news is that the Eagles finished their Week 17 game against the Giants with the combination of Big V and Pryor on the right side and those guys seemed to hold up fine. Pryor did well after he was forced into action and now has had an entire week of preparation.
Vaitai has been a backup during his career in Philadelphia but has started plenty of games for Johnson and Jason Peters. Heck, Vaitai started in Super Bowl LII. But Pryor has played in just 12 career games. Still, center Jason Kelce said this week that he felt comfortable playing next to Pryor and Vaitai.
Meanwhile, Zach Ertz (ribs, back) is expected to be checked by doctors today. If he gets cleared he’ll play on Sunday. If not, he won’t.
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