This report doesn’t come as a shock. Johnson didn’t practice on Friday and was ruled questionable on the final injury report. Previous reports have indicated Johnson wasn’t likely to return to the lineup this weekend:
Lane Johnson’s high ankle sprain was thought to be a 4 to 6 week injury— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 3, 2020
It will be 4 weeks Sunday.
I’m told Lane is still having issues, you need to be able to plant that foot, and side to side movement. Lane has done everything he can https://t.co/qhnWSy8J0P
With Johnson reportedly out, the Eagles are set to start Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle for the fourth game in a row. Big V is obviously a downgrade from Johnson but the fourth-year blocker has played relatively well. The Eagles are 3-0 in Vaitai’s last three starts and he ranks 22nd out of 88 offensive tackles graded by Pro Football Focus.
Vaitai starting at right tackle means 2018 sixth-round pick Matt Pryor will make his first NFL start at right guard. Pryor previously played against the Seahawks in Week 12 in addition to taking more snaps when Brandon Brooks suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last weekend.
The Seahawks should certainly be looking to attack the right side of the Eagles’ offensive line in this game. It’s the weak point.
With that said, at least Vaitai and Pryor have had a full week to prepare for this matchup as opposed to being thrown into the fire mid-game. The Eagles’ coaching staff has been able to plan around the Johnson and Brooks absences.
Gunn also reports that “it’s believed [Johnson] will be ready for the next opponent” if the Eagles are able to beat the Seahawks and advance to the divisional round. Getting both Johnson AND DeSean Jackson back could be really big for this Eagles offense.
In other injury news, there continues to be optimism that Zach Ertz can actually play. Keep in mind Eagles vs. Seahawks inactives will be officially posted at 3:10 PM on Sunday afternoon.
There is optimism Zach Ertz will be able to play Sunday, barring any surprises, according to sources— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 4, 2020
He has passed some very stringent tests, will need to pass some more to be cleared
I’m told he had a small cut on his kidney that is healing quickly. Eagles are being cautious pic.twitter.com/kz1cHsl03X