The Impact Lane Johnson's Suspension Could Have on the Eagles
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Eagles will play the Washington Redskins this Sunday without starting right tackle Lane Johnson. His 10-game suspension was upheld and was banned from the Eagles practice facility 4 PM Tuesday.
Johnson will not be eligible until Dec. 19, which is a few days before the Week 16 matchup against the New York Giants.
Johnson tested positive for ingesting a banned substance back in June and the appeal was finally upheld this week. Johnson said the banned substance was part of his amino acid supplement, but they were not listed on the label.
The NFL states that players are responsible for whatever they put into their bodies, knowingly or not.
Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was selected in the fifth-round, hasn’t played a regular season down yet, but will play a lot now as he was named starting right tackle.
Johnson is supposed to move to left tackle whenever Jason Peters hangs up the cleats. Peters, 34, hasn’t played at his best yet and Johnson, 26, has now failed two drug tests in three seasons.
The next time Johnson gets caught, or if there is a next time, he will have to serve a two year ban. A two year ban would be a career ender for him.
Since Johnson has now received two strikes, you can wonder if the Eagles will keep him around for the move to left tackle. That’s something they’ll have to consider with the 2017 draft.
If they have to take a tackle that high in the draft, than how much of a setback will that be in trying to build weapons around Carson Wentz? Or finding a shutdown corner?
The Eagles will hope for Vaitai to play well enough at right tackle so that veteran left guard Allen Barbre won’t have to be moved.
Johnson signed a brand new contract this spring, five years, $56 million. Johnson could lose $3.5-4 million with the suspension and much of his guaranteed money in the future years becomes void.
He gets the money if he continues to play, but he isn’t owed anything if he suffers a disastrous injury. That just makes it easier for the Eagles to walk away from his contract with a low cap charge.
It should be interesting to see how the 3-1 Eagles will do with a key piece of the offensive line out till week 16.