After the Eagles’ 24-23 loss to the Lions on Sunday, the loss which may be Lane Johnson’s last game until Week 16, the team’s right tackle spoke with reporters about the latest on his pending suspension and appeal decision.
Johnson, who could be suspended 10 games if the arbitrator he met with last Tuesday doesn’t overturn the suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, said he expects to know his fate by Thursday at the latest.
Lane Johnson said he expects to hear appeal verdict Wednesday or Thursday. Said they mainly argued interpretations of drug testing policy.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 9, 2016
In today’s Daily News, Bowen had more comments from Johnson, including on what exactly was discussed in that Tuesday arbitration hearing in New York:
“That's pretty much what we did for eight hours. Eight hours of bickering back and forth," Johnson said. "It just felt good to go in there and kind of take it on, head-on. Confront them.
"I didn't say a whole lot. My lawyer just talked. Mainly it was just interpretation of the policy, there's new words that have been put in place, that's basically what it was all over."
I have a feeling Johnson is going to be suspended. I don’t think it’s the right decision by the league, but hey, it’s the NFL — when’s the last time they made the right decision about literally anything?
If/when Johnson is suspended, you’ll remember, the Eagles have two potential offensive line solutions. One plan, the original plan, is to move left guard Allen Barbre, who struggled Sunday, to right tackle in Johnson’s place, and allow offseason acquisition Stefen Wisniewski to play left guard.
The second, and newer, plan is to leave Barbre at left guard and bump rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai into Johnson’s place at right tackle.
Whatever the case, after months of waiting and speculating, it seems we’ll finally have an answer this week.