Eagles Lose Star RT Lane Johnson to 10-Game Suspension After Appeal Denied
A failed/flawed appeals process results in the Philadelphia Eagles losing their starting right tackle Lane Johnson for 10 games
A long-awaited saga is officially over, as the Eagles will lose one of their best players on offense for a large portion of the season. Former fourth-overall pick Lane Johnson will miss 10 games after taking an amino acid, a product not officially banned by the NFL and NFLPA.
The right tackle would be eligible to return for the final two games of the season, both of which are at home against the Giants and Cowboys.
Johnson recently signed a five-year, $56,260,000 contract, but could lose $25 million in guaranteed money with this upheld suspension.
Johnson’s attorneys announced the news in a brief statement after learning the official decision Tuesday morning.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 11, 2016
The Eagles have been anticipating this ruling, and have multiple options available to replace Johnson. Left guard Allen Barbre has experience at right tackle, but the Eagles would prefer not to move him in order to keep as much continuity in-front of rookie Carson Wentz.
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Fifth round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai( pronounced hal-lah-poo-lee-VAH-tee VIE-tie, or also known simply as Big V) could make his first NFL start. Standing at 6’6, Vaitai has no appeared in a regular season game since being drafted out of TCU.
Philadelphia’s third round pick Isaac Seumalo has not played this year after suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason, but could slide in at left guard. The Oregon State product has played nearly every position on the offensive line, but is best suited to play at guard.
The Eagles offensive line has been excellent this year, allowing their rookie quarterback Wentz to be sacked only seven times, second lowest in the league. With veteran Jason Peters anchoring the left tackle position, free agent guard Brandon Brooks has taken over on the right side. Jason Kelce continues to be the lead man in the center of the line, and veteran Stefan Wisniewski is an extremely qualified back-up on the bench.
Philadelphia is 3-1 with a rookie quarterback and head coach, and will travel to Washington for their first NFC East game of the season.