Eagles Notes: Johnson, Wentz, Fullbacks

The Eagles are entering their Week 1 matchup with the Browns in an interesting position on their offensive line. Since the NFL has yet to announce the expected suspension for Lane Johnson, the team shelved a plan that included an alternate route at right tackle and will instead start Johnson on Sunday, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Getting ready to play, man,” Johnson told media after Friday’s practice. “I didn’t think this day would come. This has been the biggest mental hurdle of my career.”

Johnson faces a 10-game suspension after his A sample tested positive for a banned substance. The delay for the league appears to stem from the results of his B sample not being retrieved. The fourth-year tackle intends to appeal any suspension, and with that process taking as many as several weeks, he may be available longer than expected this season. However, the loss of an appeal could sideline Johnson during more second-half games than anticipated since the ban won’t be starting Week 1 as he anticipated.

Here’s the latest coming out of Philly.

  • Hours before the Eagles’ third preseason game, wide receiver Jordan Matthews told Howie Roseman that Carson Wentz was ready to see play now instead of being a quarterback-in-waiting, Zach Berman of the Inquirer reports. The rookie was then relegated to personal throwing sessions while recovering from injury, and while the third-year pass-catcher’s statement probably wouldn’t have proved as significant for the purposes of Week 1 had Teddy Bridgewater not gone down, the comment looks somewhat prescient now that Wentz is the starter and Sam Bradford‘s in Minnesota.
  • Some in the Eagles’ organization are surprised by the Browns’ comments regarding Wentz, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Paul DePodesta recently revealed the Browns’ brass did not consider the North Dakota State product a potential top-20 NFL quarterback, and young defenders Carl Nassib and Ibraheim Campbell respectively called Wentz’s delivery and inexperience into question this week after it became known he would start the season for the Eagles. Wentz had read DePodesta’s comments before he was named the Eagles’ starter, Cabot writes.
  • It doesn’t look like Doug Pederson‘s offense will be housing a pure fullback for a while, Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. The team cut potential options Ryan Mueller and Chris Pantale. Many teams obviously go without pure fullbacks in today’s NFL, but the Andy Reid– and Pederson-run Chiefs employed one in Anthony Sherman during the three seasons that duo coordinated Kansas City’s attack. The Eagles have Andrew Bonnet on their practice squad and could use third tight end Trey Burton there, per new OC Frank Reich.
  • Earlier today, former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook said some Philadelphia veterans aren’t on board with the Bradford trade.
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