Lane Johnson had to leave the Eagles’ Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers early due to the nagging ankle injury that’s been bothering him all season. Doug Pederson said he couldn’t provide an update on Philadelphia’s starting right tackle on Monday because Johnson was getting a second opinion.
Now we have some more information from NFL insider Mike Garafolo:
#Eagles RT Lane Johnson gathered more opinions on his nagging ankle. Sources say it’s just a matter of trying to get some rest and fight his way through it. No talk of surgery, shutting him down or anything like that. We’ll see about his availability for Sunday vs the #Ravens.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 13, 2020
Johnson expected to be fully healthy after having an operation done in late August but things haven’t gone as he hoped. His ankle has limited him to playing just 67% of the Eagles’ snaps this season. His snap counts from his last two games: 60% and 66%.
Johnson is tough and undoubtedly wants to be out on the field to support his team but the Eagles should be resting him. They shouldn’t be risking his health further in what’s looking like a down season, though. I’m no doctor but it seems like he needs some time off.
If Johnson can’t play against the Baltimore Ravens this week, the Eagles are bound to start rookie Jack Driscoll at right tackle in his place. Driscoll has been OK in pass protection but hasn’t given the team much as a run blocker. Pro Football Focus has the Auburn alumnus graded 55th out of 78 offensive tackles this year. (Jordan Mailata is 44th, if you were curious.)
Here’s the Eagles’ projected starting offensive line for Week 6 if Johnson is out:
Left tackle — Jordan Mailata
Left guard — Nate Herbig
Center — Jason Kelce
Right guard — Matt Pryor
Right tackle — Jack Driscoll
Certainly not what the Eagles had ideally envisioned for this season.