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Lane Johnson suspension could be reduced under new NFL drug policy

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According to a report from Mike Florio, possible changes in the way the NFL classifies certain drugs could end up as good news for the suspended RT

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

You may have seen some headlines today based on a report Mike Florio made during last night's NBC telecast regarding the suspensions for Wes Welker and Josh Gordon potentially being reduced. These headlines have all been about Welker and Gordon because they matter in fantasy football, but for Eagles fans there could potentially be good news for RT Lane Johnson.

Florio reported that the NFL and the players' union are close to agreeing to a new drug testing policy which will include testing for HGH, which has not previously been tested for. However, in return for that testing the players appear to be extracting some concessions that will lighten the penalties for other substances.

One change is that offseason use of amphetamines would move from the performance-enhancing substance policy to the substance-abuse policy. That would mean that Welker would switch from a first-time offender in the PED policy (which carries an automatic four-game suspension) to a first-time offender in the substance-abuse policy (which carries no suspension).

In addition, the threshold for a positive marijuana test would rise.

Now to be clear, the idea that the NFL would make the policy retroactive seem to mostly be Mike Florio's, but it does make logical sense. Why would the league want big stars suspended on the sidelines for something that isn't even illegal anymore?

We do not exactly know what Lane Johnson took that led to his suspension because neither he nor the team will say. However, since the NFL doesn't currently test for HGH I suppose it's fair to assume that isn't it. We know only that it was something legally prescribed by a doctor. If the substance was in fact an amphetamine or other drug that the NFL reclassifies, there is a chance that Johnson's suspension could be overturned.

There are certainly a lot of "ifs" here and were this to happen it won't be by Sunday either way... but there at least appears to be a bit of hope that the Eagles could get their promising RT back before October.