Eagles RT Lane Johnson To Delay Adductor Surgery, Will Play In Postseason

DECEMBER 28: Johnson will need surgery to address this injury, but the Pro Bowl right tackle will not undergo an operation that threatens his playoff availability. Following consultations with several doctors, the 10th-year Eagles right tackle will put off surgery on his torn adductor, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Johnson plans to return in time for the Eagles’ first playoff game. The eventual procedure will shut down Johnson for around three months, per Rapoport (on Twitter). Rather than move in that direction now, Johnson will attempt to play through this injury after some rehab time.

DECEMBER 26: The Eagles may have their starting quarterback available to close out the regular season, but the same will likely not be true of one of their key offensive linemen. Right tackle Lane Johnson is dealing with a torn tendon in his abdomen, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Surgery may be required at some point, as noted (on Twitter) by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Schefter adds that Johnson is expected to miss the final two weeks of the regular season. While that will make for a notable absence down the stretch, the team is hopeful at this point that he can recover in time for the playoffs. Philadelphia failed to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC over the weekend, but doing so at any point in the remaining stretch of the campaign would guarantee them a bye in the Wild Card round and give Johnson extra time to get healthy.

The 32-year-old was recently named a Pro Bowler for the fourth time in his career, as his standout play has continued in 2022. Johnson has generated a PFF grade of 83.2 this season, the second straight season in which he has eclipsed a rating of 80 or higher and sixth overall. He has graded out as the seventh-best offensive tackle per PFF, underlining his importance to Philadelphia’s offense during what has been a hugely successful season to date.

The Eagles have a league-best record of 13-2, and have seen plenty of production on the ground due in no small part to the strength of their offensive front. Johnson has been instrumental in Philadelphia averaging 154 yards per game on the ground, which ranks fourth in the NFL. A ground-heavy approach could be in order if QB Jalen Hurts is once again forced to sit out due to a shoulder sprain, though a return in time for Week 17 against the Saints could still be on the table.

This injury will mark Johnson’s first missed time since a three-week absence last season, the cause of which he cited as mental health. The impact on the Eagles’ pass protection in particular will likely be substantial, as the former top-five pick has yet to allow a sack since 2020.

Jack Driscoll, drafted in the fourth round that year, is expected to be Johnson’s replacement at right tackle; he has made 14 starts in his career, including one this season. But Nick Sirianni said a potential Jordan Mailata position switch — from left to right tackle — that would allow Andre Dillard to man the blindside post is on the table as well, Zach Berman of The Athletic tweets. Dillard has played both positions but has more experience on the left side. The 2019 first-rounder started five games at left tackle last season. Mailata saw time at right tackle briefly last year as well, with Dillard playing the left side during the time in which Mailata was back and Johnson out.

The Eagles enter the closing stages of the regular season with Super Bowl aspirations, but the injuries to Hurts and now Johnson cast serious doubt on their offensive upside in at least the immediate future. Their respective recoveries will go a long way in determining how deep of a playoff run the team can go in January and February.

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