Lane Johnson’s appeal hearing is today:
Appeal hearing is Tuesday. Arbitrator ruling could be immediate or take longer than a week. https://t.co/fxpf1LRY9J— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 3, 2016
Johnson, of course, is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy for the second time. An arbitrator will rule whether to uphold the suspension in its entirety, shorten the suspension (four games would be a likely outcome if that were his decision), or to repeal the suspension.
Players subject to discipline receive a letter informing them of what they did, a video of the play in question, why they are being fined and how much it will cost them. They also receive information on how to appeal the fine. If they choose not to appeal, the fine is withheld from their next game check.
If a player protests a ruling, he schedules a hearing with the NFL, and his case is assigned to one of the league’s current appeals officers, Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, who are jointly appointed and paid by the NFL and NFLPA. Cases are assigned randomly, so neither side in the appeals process knows who will hear a case. The officer assigned to the case reviews the play and hears the league’s case and the player’s defense. The officer’s decision is final, and the ruling is binding.
If the appeal is rejected, the league withholds the amount of the fine from the player’s next check. If the player wins his appeal, he will receive notification of the decision, and no money will be taken from his check.
As McLane noted in the above tweet, the arbitrator’s ruling could take a week to come down the pike. If that were the case, Johnson would be eligible to play Sunday against the Lions in Detroit.
In the locker room Monday afternoon, Zach Ertz said the team is preparing as if Johnson will be starting Sunday.
However, if Johnson can’t go on Sunday, or in the future, the plan is for Allen Barbre, currently playing left guard, to slide to right tackle in Johnson’s place. Stefen Wisniewski, who the Eagles signed this offseason, would then take Barbre’s place at left guard. Wisniewski has been active for all three Eagles games this year as a backup offensive lineman.
We’ll await word on Johnson’s potential suspension all week, if it takes that long, and keep you updated here at BGN as news becomes available, so check back often for updates.