You might’ve heard: Lane Johnson’s suspension appeal hearing was today. Johnson is facing a 10-game suspension for a second run-in with the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
The suspension can be repealed entirely, lowered, or upheld entirely. As of Tuesday evening, there was no definitive ruling.
The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane has a statement from Johnson’s attorney, Steve Zashin, which according to Les Bowen ended around 6:00 this evening.
The way Zashin phrases it, we can probably expect Johnson to play on Sunday against the Lions in Detroit, and the arbitrator will rule sometime next week.
The Daily News’ Les Bowen seemed to interpret it the same way:
The main takeaway so far: typical arbitration timeframe is a week to 10 days, so Lane Johnson plays in Detroit.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 4, 2016
If the arbitrator hands down the decision before Sunday, the Eagles will shift starting left guard Allen Barbre to right tackle, and backup lineman Stefen Wisniewski will start at left guard.
In case the suspension comes down before Sunday’s game, there are certainly worse opponents to have an iffy offensive line start to gel against. The Lions are allowing the third-most rush yards per attempt of any defense in the league, which means the Eagles’ run game wouldn’t suffer terribly in Johnson’s absence.
Still, they would clearly prefer to have the man they guaranteed $35.5 million this offseason play as many games as he’s allowed.
[UPDATE: 7:37 PM EST] - ESPN’s Adam Caplan says the Eagles expect Johnson to play Sunday, per a source.