It sounds like Andre Dillard will start at right tackle against the Seahawks Sunday if Lane Johnson is unable to play, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson indicated Monday.
Johnson suffered a concussion during the second quarter of the Eagles’ loss to the Patriots Sunday at the Linc and is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the Eagles’ starting left tackle during the 2017 Super Bowl run, finished the game at right tackle, but Pederson said it will be Dillard and not Big V getting first-team reps this week.
The Eagles scored 10 points and averaged 49 yards of offense on three drives with Johnson on the field. They didn't score a point and averaged 17 yards per drive after Vaitai entered the game.
Dillard, the rookie first-round pick from Washington State, played very well in his first three career starts — against the Cowboys, Bills and Bears — in place of Peters, who was dealing with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.
Peters returned Sunday for the Patriots, but when Johnson got hurt, the Eagles turned to Vaitai because Dillard hasn’t gotten any practice time on the right side and Vaitai has run scout team at right tackle.
But Pederson said that will change the week.
“Going into the game, obviously J.P.’s status during the week, (Dillard) was still working at left tackle,” Pederson said. “But moving forward — again, depending on Lane’s status at the end of the week — the plan would be to work Dillard a little bit at right tackle.”
Asked what “a little bit” means, he said Dillard would get first-team reps.
The risk is that Peters has been forced by injuries to leave numerous games early. He’s missed significant snaps in eight games over the last two years in addition to the three entire games he missed.
Peters has played every snap in only 16 of the Eagles' last 38 games dating back to his season-ending knee injury against the Redskins in October of 2017.
If the Eagles start Peters at left tackle and Dillard at right tackle and Peters gets hurt again, now you have to either change two positions — Dillard moving to left tackle and Vaitai back in at right — or play Vaitai at his old left tackle position, which isn’t ideal.
Johnson has missed only two games with injuries in his seven-year career, although he did miss four in 2014 and 10 in 2016 because of positive tests.
He missed a game with a concussion against the Panthers in 2017 and a game the first Cowboys game last year with a knee injury.
Dillard, 24, was the 22nd pick in this year's draft.
More on the Eagles