Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson — who had ankle surgery in December — has received full medical clearance, as Johnson himself recently told reporters, including Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia (Twitter link). A report last month indicated that this was to be expected, but it will still come as welcome news to Eagles fans.
Indeed, Johnson battled his painful ankle injury through seven games of the 2020 season before finally succumbing and landing on IR in late November. That was seven more games than right guard Brandon Brooks played, as Brooks sustained a torn Achilles tendon last June. Presumptive left tackle Andre Dillard was lost to a season-ending biceps injury in August, and left guard Isaac Seumalo was limited to nine games. Meanwhile, longtime LT Jason Peters, who was originally re-signed to replace Brooks, had to be shifted back to left tackle in the wake of Dillard’s injury, though Peters only ended up playing eight games due to a toe ailment.
It was a horrible run of misfortune for the Eagles, but the club is banking on a return to health from its MASH unit in 2021. Philadelphia selected Alabama center Landon Dickerson in the second round of this year’s draft and recently signed veteran OT Le’Raven Clark, but both players suffered major injuries of their own in December (an ACL tear for Dickerson and an Achilles tear for Clark). Otherwise, there were no notable offseason additions to the O-line.
Johnson’s shortened 2020 campaign ended a run of three consecutive Pro Bowl berths. He has restructured his market-topping $18MM/year contract multiple times, and he has a number of void years tacked onto the end of the deal. Although he is eligible for free agency after the 2025 season, he will count against the Eagles’ books for three more years after that. So Philly has plenty of on-field and financial reasons to celebrate Johnson’s clean bill of health.
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