Eagles starting right tackle Lane Johnson is still recovering from an ankle surgery he underwent last month, according to a report from ESPN’s Tim McManus. T-Mac notes the surgery was described as a “clean up.”
Johnson played through a high ankle sprain during the 2019 season until the injury sidelined him for Philadelphia’s final four games, including the team’s playoff loss.
Johnson was originally described as “day-to-day” on August 23, which was about a week into padded training camp practices. He didn’t return to action until September 9 and he’s only been listed as a limited participant on the official injury report.
The Eagles really need Johnson to play considering they’re already without two starters in Andre Dillard and Brandon Brooks. If Johnson can’t suit up, the Eagles’ offensive line might look like this:
Left tackle — Jason Peters
Left guard — Isaac Seumalo
Center — Jason Kelce
Right guard — Nate Herbig
Right tackle — Matt Pryor
The 22-year-old Herbig has never started an NFL game. Pryor has one career start and that was at right guard. The Eagles could opt to insert Jack Driscoll into the lineup but he’s just a rookie. Not to mention how the Eagles are looking very thin here if someone gets hurt. Jordan Mailata could very well be playing at left tackle if Peters has to miss some snaps, as the 38-year-old veteran is wont to do.
It’s just not the most inspiring group going up against a loaded Washington Football Team defensive line in Week 1. Washington’s line features several first-round picks in Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat. They also have good depth pieces like Matt Ioannidis, who had 8.5 sacks last year, and Ryan Anderson.
Even if Johnson is able to play on Sunday, he’s clearly not going to be 100%. And one has to wonder if this injury issue could worsen and/or hamper him over the course of the season.
The Eagles are used to their offensive line being a strength. It’s certainly not comforting to think about the issues they might have protecting Carson Wentz this year.