It has been exactly three weeks since it was first reported that Philadelphia Eagles second year right tackle Lane Johnson was facing a four game suspension due to a positive drug test for PEDs. There still hasn't been any official confirmation (or denial) of the suspension from the NFL or the team or anyone really, however.
So what's the deal? Is Johnson suspended or not? Here's the latest via Birds 24/7 reporter Tim McManus.
A lot of people curious about what is happening on the Lane Johnson front. The NFL, NFLPA, the Eagles and Johnson's camp all quiet on this.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 21, 2014
The league office and/or NFLPA doesn't officially announce a suspension if a player is going to appeal, per players association spokesman.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 21, 2014
Once appeal is processed, the league will make an announcement, per NFLPA.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 21, 2014
If Johnson is going through appeals process that could explain delay. But no official word from any camp yet that Johnson has failed test.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 21, 2014
so... we still don't actually know anything. We can guess that Johnson is going through an appeals process, but it's just that - a guess. This seems to be a bit of a unique situation. I really can't recall any recent reported suspensions that took this long to confirm/deny.
If you want my advice (and why are you reading this if you don't?), I would say it's best to assume Johnson is suspended until we hear otherwise. I know that's not exactly "innocent until proven guilty" but it seems like the best approach for now. Paul Domowitch of the Daily News, who originally reported the suspension, is a veteran reporter who has spent many years covering pro football. It's not like Domo just made it up. And I doubt something serious as this would be the work of an Evan Mathis prank.
If you want to be optimistic and believe that Johnson won't be suspended, well, that's your choice. That would certainly be welcomed news for the Eagles. But believing something because it's what you want to believe can be erroneous... just look back not too long ago when people didn't want to believe the rumors about DeSean Jackson possibly being released.
I'm wondering if this situation is something that will be addressed before the Eagles start training camp this Friday. There's no indication that it will at this moment but I'm just thinking out loud here. We have to hear some kind of official confirmation or denial eventually.