As the Eagles are getting into the grind of training camp, Lane Johnson spoke to reporters ahead of the team’s second on-field practice. The offensive tackle admitted he’s in a much better place mentally and physically this year coming into camp, and opened up about his ankle injury and recovery, and how difficult it was.
“I was at the point, I don’t know if I could play anymore because I couldn’t push off my left foot, and you’ll see from the tape the beginning of last year, I couldn’t really run-block the way I’m used to — where I’m used to playing. I can still get it done, but not as effectively.
Johnson went on to say that his ankle issues were all he could think about last year, explaining that with every play, every drill, he could feel the tightness and limited mobility — something that’s not as prominent now. He said he couldn’t even run prior to last year’s training camp. He could hobble and get out of his stance but that’s about it, and it was on his mind constantly.
“But this year, I feel a lot more comfortable. It’s not on my mind, unlike it was last year where it took me, you know, midway through the season to feel kind of comfortable again playing. But, I’m in a great head space now. I feel comfortable, and I’m glad to be back.”
Jason Kelce is also glad that his teammate and friend is back. The veteran center said that he doesn’t notice much of a difference on the field because Johnson is still big, strong, and physical. Johnson is a guy who makes being at work more fun, and when he’s not with the team, Kelce misses sitting next to him in meetings and having him around.
“We’ve been through a lot and he makes coming into the building a lot more fun.”
Johnson also cherishes the time he has left to play with Kelce.
“It’s very rare that a group of guys can stay with a team for the duration of a decade or longer, and you know, I really cherish these moments with [Jason Kelce]. You know, he says it’s going to be his last year. We’ll see about that, but I’m just cherishing my time with him.”
He said Jason Kelce, and his teammates, will be friends for life.